Cesarino Romano

Cesarino Romano (1924 – 2008)

Cesarino Romano (1924-2008) was an Italian paediatrician.

Romano’s clinical and research activity focused on cystic fibrosis, endocrine and metabolic pathologies.

In the last years of his professional activity, he helped develop the field of Emergency Pediatrics in Italy; establishing a Post-Graduate Course of Emergency Pediatrics and publishing the first text of Emergency Pediatrics in Italy, Pediatria d’urgenza.

Eponymously affiliated with Romano-Ward Syndrome which he described in 1963, independent of Irish paediatrician, Owen Conor Ward.

  • Born on July 5, 1924 in Voghera, Italy
  • 1952 – Graduated in Medicine, University of Pavia
  • 1957 – Directed the Section for the study of Cystic Fibrosis of the Pediatric Clinic
  • 1958 – Appointed Paediatrician, University of Genoa; directed the cardiology department; head of  Electrocardiography Laboratory and the Cardiology Section of the Pediatric Clinic
  • 1960 – Director of the Center for Social Pediatrics for Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases of the University of Genoa
  • 1963 – Described a new familial congenital arrhythmia; reported for the first time in the international medical literature – a new electrocardiographic sign present in hypothyroidism and hypercalcemia.
  • 1966 – Inspired and contributed to the establishment dell’Associazione Italiana per la Lotta contro la Fibrosi Cistica
  • 1972 – Appointed Professor of Paediatrics
  • 1985 – In collaboration with Afzelius and Gargani he described a new variant of primitive ciliary dyskinesia
  • 1976-1996 Director of Paediatric department, University of Genoa
  • Died on April 23, 2008

Medical Eponyms
Romano-Ward Syndrome (1963)

Congenital (autosomal dominant) long QT syndrome (LQTS). Unlike Jervell-Lange-Nielsen syndrome, there is no congenital hearing loss present. Multiple genetic mutations identified linked to cardiac potassium and beta-adrenergic channels.

Independently described in 1963 by Cesarino Romano and by Irish paediatrician Owen Conor Ward (1923-2021). Both reported an autosomal dominant long-term QT syndrome, later known as Romano-Ward syndrome.

Romano described an inherited functional syncopal heart disorder with prolonged QT interval in a 3-month-old female patient (“Aritmie cardiache rare dell’eta’pediatrica”). During one syncopal attack, her ECG demonstrated VF. Between attacks, QT interval prolongation, broad diphasic T-waves and abnormal alternate complexes were repeatedly shown. Two brothers of his patient had exhibited the same symptoms and died suddenly, one at 44 days and one at 4 months of age.

Romano 1963 QT prolongation in 3 month old
QT interval in seconds in 3 month old with congenital cardiac arrhythmia. Romano 1963

In Romano’s case report in The Lancet, he identified the difference between this new condition and Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome, and connects his findings with Owen Ward’s description of a similar case.

We pointed to the resemblance between our case and the syndrome of deaf-mutism, syncopal attacks, lengthening of the QT interval, and sudden death, but, as in Ward’s case, there was no evidence of deaf-mutism in our patient or in her family. The syndrome reported by us and by
Ward may be a distinct entity.

Romano, 1965


Romano and Ward are forever bound by their eponym but did they get on? The answer is yes! Ward recently speaking of Romano said ‘We remained good friends until his death’.

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


MB BCh BAO from Queens University, Belfast.

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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