Alfred Vulpian

Alfred Vulpian (1826-1887)

Edmé Félix Alfred Vulpian (1826-1887) was a French neurologist.

Together with Jean-Marie Charcot he founded the journal Archives de Physiologie Normale et Pathologique

Vulpian, coined the term fibrillation and first suggested that the heart itself was responsible for originating and sustaining this irregular rhythm that results in mechanical disarray

Vulpian discovered adrenaline in the adrenal medulla (1856) and was the first to use the term ‘fibrillation‘ to describe a chaotic irregular rhythm of the heart (1874)

  • Born 5 January 1826 Paris, France
  • Failed entrance examinations to École Normale (top teacher’s college in France)
  • 1853 – Doctoral Thèse ‘Essai sur l’origine réelle de plusieurs nerfs crâniens
  • 1860 – Des pneumonies secondaires [Thèse pour l’agrégation]
  • 1862 – Took over management of the Salpêtrière (welfare institution for the chronically ill)
  • 1867 – Professeur d’anatomie pathologique à la Faculté de Médecine de Paris.
  • 1872 – Professeur de pathologie comparée et expérimentale à la Faculté de Médecine de Paris.
  • 1876 – Membre de L’Académie des Sciences (section de Médecine et Chirurgie)
  • Died 18 May 1887

Medical Eponyms
  • Vulpian sign – Conjugate eye deviation in acute cerebral hemisphere lesions
  • Vulpian-Bernhardt spinal muscular atrophy – proximal upper limb neurogenic muscular atrophy
  • Vulpian-Prévost law – in unilateral cerebral lesion, the head is rotated toward the diseased hemisphere

Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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