Fred Lange-Nielsen

Fred Lange-Nielsen (1919 – 1989)

Fred Lange-Nielsen (1919-1989) was a Norwegian physician, Jazz musician and humanitarian.

Along with Anton Jervell, eponymously affiliated with Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome (JLNS)

Founded the Norwegian branch of the ‘Defence and Aid Fund (DAF)’ (Krisefondet for Sør-Afrika) for Southern Africa in 1963.

  • Born on September 28, 1919
  • Physician in internal medicine in Tønsberg, Norway
  • 1964 – Vice President of International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF) for Southern Africa
  • Died on December 28, 1989

Medical Eponyms
Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome (JLNS) (1957)

Congenital (autosomal recessive) long QT syndrome (LQTS) associated with severe, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.Two genetic mutations identified encoding cardiac potassium channels. Due to high risk of sudden cardiac death ICD implantation is usually required

1957 – Lange-Nielsen along with Norwegian Professor of Cardiology, Anton Jervell (1901-1987) described an autosomal recessive syndrome of long-QT interval with deafness and sudden death

Four cases of deaf-mutism combined with a peculiar heart disease have been observed in one family. The parents and 2 other children were healthy and had normal hearing. The deaf-mute children all suffered attacks of fainting, probably Adams-Stokes seizures caused by standstill of the heart. The first attack occurred between the ages of 3 and 5 years, and 3 of the children died in such attacks at the ages of 4, 5, and 9 years, respectively.

Electrocardiographic studies in 3 of the cases revealed a marked prolongation of the Q-T interval.

Am Heart J. 1957

Jervell and Lange-Nielson recounted one case of a young boy, born in 1944 suffering from repeated ‘fainting attacks’ since the age of 3. The attacks usually occurred following effort. Occasionally the boy had complained of palpitations and precordial pains. In July, 1953, he was examined with the only pathologic finding being a prolongation of the Q-T interval in the electrocardiogram, worse following exercise. On Nov. 19, 1953, he had a further attack. He suddenly became pale and fell unconscious and died.

JLNS 1957 case 1 pm

(a) ECG July 20. 1953, during rest. Leads I, II, III. IVR. Q-T = 0.50s. R-R = 0.88s.
(b) ECG July 20, 1953. after stair-running. Leads I. II. III, IVR. Q-T = 0.60s R-R = 0.86s. Jervell A, Lange-Nielsen F. 1957

Key Attributions

Fred Lange-Nielsen was a bass player and vocalist with:

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


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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