Friedrich von Müller

Friedrich von Müller (1858 – 1941) was a German physician.

Müller worked a wide range of areas within internal medicine and clinical physiology. Recognised for his research into nutrition, metabolism, kidney disease, asthma and jaundice; he was extremely well-known with students coming from all over the world to attend his clinics.

Revered as ‘The Great Clinician’ (Dem Grossen Kliniker), he is now best remembered for Müller sign in aortic regurgitation (1889).


  • Born 17th September 1858, Augsburg
  • 1876 – Initially begun studying natural sciences at the Technical High School in Munich (now known as the Technical University of Munich), before being motivated to study medicine from the chemistry lectures of Adolf von Baeyer and the physiology lectures of Carl von Voit
  • 1881 –  Passed his medical state examinations and begun working in the laboratory of Voit
  • 1882 – Completed his dissertation on faeces analysis of carnivores
  • 1882 – Worked as an assistant with C Gerhardt at the University Hospital in Würzburg
  • 1889 – Professor at the University of Bonn
  • 1890 – Professor of Laryngology in Breslau
  • 1892 – Director of the Polyclinic of the University of Marburg
  • 1899 – Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Basel
  • 1904 – Director of the Second Medical Clinic in Munich, and succeeded Bauer as head of the hospital on the left bank of the Isar.
  • 1913 – Elected President of the International Medical Congress
  • 1927 – Made Honorary Citizen of the City of Munich
  • 1927 – Elected president of the German Academy, before being forced to resign in the wake of the National Socialist’s Gleichschaltung in 1934
  • Died 18 November 1941 in Munich, Germany

What I fear most in science is dogma. Orthodoxy is the root of all evil

Müller after-dinner speech, on his 80th birthday

Medical Eponyms

Müller sign (1889)

Pulsatile uvula, soft palate and tonsils with associated redness and swelling

Müller treated a 22 year old female (Luise B) who suffered from aortic incompetence and recorded

…die vor deren und hinteren Gaumenbögen rückten synchron mit jedem Karotiden puls etwas median wärts; auch am Gaumensegel war eine Pulsation zu be merken, indem der freie Rand mit der Uvula nach abwärts bewegt wurde. Auf diese Weise kam durch das Zusammenrücken der Gaumenbögen und Tonsillen, sowie durch das Tiefertreten des Gaumensegels und der Uvula mit jedem Pulsschlag eine Verengerung des Gaumenthores zu Stande

…the anterior and posterior palatal arches, moved somewhat median synchronously with each carotid pulse; The soft palate also showed a pulsation as the free edge was moved downwards with the uvula. In this way, with the narrowing of the palatal arches and tonsils moving together, and the soft palate and the uvula stepping downwards; with each pulse a narrowing of the soft palate occurs

Müller, 1889

Major Publications

Video Sources


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Physician in training. German translator and lover of medical history.

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