Benjamin Collins Brodie

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie (1783 – 1862)

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie (1783 – 1862) English Anatomist and General surgeon.

  • Born 1783
  • Died 21 October 1862
Medical Eponyms
  • Brodie’s abscess – chronic metaphyseal abscess of a bone
  • Brodie’s knee –
  • Brodie-Trendelenburg percussion test
Key Medical Attributions
Reactive arthritis (1818)

1818 – Brodie reported case histories of five patients with the symptom complex of urethral discharge, arthritis, and inflammation of the eyes. Further case descriptions were added in the 1836 4th edition of his textbook. Brodie clearly describes a disease pattern of recurrent episodes of acute urethritis, arthritis, and conjunctivitis. The arthritis affected the knees, ankles, and feet predominantly, but one patient had ‘swelling of nearly all the joints‘.

Case 1: In a man aged 45, arthritis and conjunctivitis developed about a week after a urethral discharge. The joints of the feet and knees were first involved and later the right elbow and shoulder were painful but without “any perceptible swelling”. The attack lasted 6 to 7 weeks; 6 months later he had “another attack of the same complaint” lasting about 6 weeks, and after 3 months iritis occurred. He subsequently had a second attack of iritis 4 years later.

Brodie, 1818: 54-60 and cases 2-6: 1836: 61-63

1794Giovanni Battista Montéggia (1762-1815) was the first to describe the pathology of gonorrhoeal arthritis, Annotazioni pratiche sopra i mali venerei, an observation for which Brodie is usually credited.

Major Publications

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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