Eduard Glanzmann

Eduard Glanzmann (1887-1959) was a Swiss paediatrician.

Glanzmann described Hereditäre hämorrhagische Thrombasthenie in 1918, a condition which now bears his name.

Glanzmann was an outstanding clinician and paediatrician with special interests, including haematology, infectious diseases, psychopathology, growth and development

His book ‘Einführung in die Kinderheilkunde’ (Introduction to Paediatrics) was published in seven editions, and translated into Spanish and French

  • Born 12 April 1887, Luzern
  • 1909-1912 Studied medicine in Zürich, Berlin, and Berne
  • 1914 – MD, Berne
  • 1915 – Postgraduate studies at the paediatric clinic in the Charité, Berlin
  • 1929 – Privatdozent in paediatrics, Berne
  • 1932 – Professor and Director of the Children’s Hospital (Das Jenner-Kinderspital) in Bern
  • 1939 – Chair of paediatrics, University of Berne
  • 1943-1945 Dean, University of Berne
  • Died 2 February 1959

Medical Eponyms
  • Glanzmann thrombastenia (1918) – autosomal recessive bleeding disorder characterized by deficient or dysfunctional glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa complexes. In the absence of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor (aka the fibrinogen receptor), platelets do not stick to each other at the site of injury and it is difficult for the normal blood clot to form. The hallmark of the disease is impaired platelet aggregation stemming from defective fibrinogen binding to GPIIb/IIIa. [Hereditäre hämorrhagische Thrombasthenie, 1918]
  • Schönlein–Henoch–Glanzmann Purpura (1920) – Glanzmann introduced the term Anaphylaktoide Purpura recognising the the allergic components of the clinical syndrome

Key Medical Attributions
  • 1918 – Glanzmann recognised ‘weak‘ non-functioning platelets (thrombasthenia) were associated with prolonged bleeding times in the autosomal recessive condition now known as Glanzmann thrombastenia. He proposed the slow/absent clot retraction was as a result of a ‘functional disturbance of platelets‘ (-pathia); not simply a lack of platelet numbers (-paenia). In particular non-functioning ’weak’ platelets.
  • 1920 – Reported on the allergic components of HSP as ‘Anaphylaktoide Purpura
  • 1930 – Characterized the features of ’the fever of the lymphatic glands in children‘ which we know today as infectious mononucleosis
  • 1950 – Glanzmann and Paul Riniker described two infants with ’essentieller Lymphocytophthise‘, the first cases of severe combined immune deficiency

Notable Quotables

Untold patients and thankful mothers will mourn him. Enemies he had none. Swiss medical science become poorer by the loss of this worthy, kind man.

Anon, obituary 1959

All his achievements should be recognized as originating from his care of the sick child and the right of access to the man and his personality. He does not conduct research as an end in itself, but as a means of betterment.

Dr H Berger, 1959

Major Publications
  • Glanzmann E. Hereditäre hämorrhagische Thrombasthenie. Ein Beitrag zur Pathologie der Blutplättchen. Jahrbuch für Kinderheilkunde und physische Erziehung. 1918;88:1-42 and 113-141 [Glanzmann thrombastenia]
  • Glanzmann E. Die Konzeption der Anaphylaktoiden Purpura. Jahrbuch für Kinderheilkunde und physische Erziehung. 1920;91(2):371. [Henoch-Schönlein Purpura]
  • Glanzmann E. Einführung in die Kinderheilkunde. [Introduction to Paediatrics] Springer 1920
  • Glanzmann E. Riniker P. Essentielle Lymphocytophthise; ein neues Krankheitsbild aus der Säuglingspathologie. Annales paediatrici. 1950 Jul-Aug;175(1-2):1-32. [PMID 15433018]

  • Rossi E. [Prof. Dr. Eduard Glanzmann]. Bull Schweiz Akad Med Wiss. 1959 Sep;15:439-440. [PMID 14439235]
  • Stevens RF, Meyer S. Fanconi and Glanzmann: the men and their works. Br J Haematol. 2002 Dec;119(4):901-904. [PMID 12472566]
  • Seligsohn U. Glanzmann thrombasthenia: a model disease which paved the way to powerful therapeutic agents. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2002 Sep-Dec;32(5-6):216-217. [PMID 13679645]
  • Kannan M, Saxena R. Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia: an overview. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2009 Mar-Apr;15(2):152-65. [PMID 18930954]
  • Humphreys I, Saraiya S, Belenky W, Dworkin J. Nasal packing with strips of cured pork as treatment for uncontrollable epistaxis in a patient with Glanzmann thrombasthenia. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2011 Nov;120(11):732-736. [PMID 22224315]

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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