Georges-Paul Dieulafoy (1839-1911) 600

Georges-Paul Dieulafoy (1839-1911) was a French Clinician.

Widely regarded as an outstanding clinician and excellent physician. He tried to bridge a gap between internal medicine and surgery. Considered to be the father of modern Gastroenterology.

Best known for his advancement of clinical pathology and his work on thoracocentesis. He described Dieulafoy’s triad (défense musculaire) hypersensitivity of the skin, tenderness and muscular contraction at McBurney’s point as an early indication of acute appendicitis. He campaigned for early surgical intervention in acute appendicitis – an operation first performed in Paris in the 1890’s.

Eponymously remebered for – Dieulafoy’s Lesion, Dieulafoys Aspirator and Dieulafoys Triad.

  • Born on November 18, 1839 – Toulouse, France
  • 1863 – Studied under Armand Trousseau (1801-1867) in Hôtel-Dieu
  • 1870 – Led an ambulance service at Holy Trinity Church of Paris
  • 1879 – Chief of the Medical Department at Tenon Hospital
  • 1881 – Chief of the Medical Department at St. Antoine Hospital
  • 1886 – Chief of the Medical Department at Necker Hospital
  • 1896 – 1910 Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Hôtel-Dieu
  • 1910 – President of the French Académie de Médecine
  • Died on August 16, 1911

Medical Eponyms
Dieulafoy’s lesion (1898)

Dieulafoy’s lesion, also know as cirsoid aneurysm and submucosal arterial malformation. 70% are located in the stomach and commonly located within 6cm of the gastroesophageal junction on the lesser curvature. These lesions account for 1-2% of gastrointestinal bleeding and are cause of recurrent or often massive gastrointestinal bleeding. 

Originally described by Gallard in 1884 and designated “exulceratio simplex” by the French surgeon Georges Dieulafoy 14 years later.

exulceratio simplex 1898 Dieulafoy’s lesion
U. exalcération formée aux dépens de la tunique muqueuse et de la musculeuse muqueuse mm. — a, artériole sous-muqueuse détruite au point h, où se trouvent une quantité de globules rouges en amas; c’est à ce moment-là que surviennent les hémorragies mortelles. — V, th, veine thrombosée. — sm, tunique sous-muqueuse. — mtr et ml, tunique musclée. — s, tunique séreuse. 1, 2 et 3, abcès miliaires profonds de la muqueuse. Fig 2. 1898

Dieulafoy recommended surgical excision as the therapeutic approach to these lesions and this remained until the introduction of endoscopy. The use of endoscopy caused prognosis to drop to 8% from 80%.

Dieulafoy aspirator

A suction pump to evacuate liquid from the pleura.

First described by Edouard van den Corput (1821-1908) in 1856

Under the title of “Pneumatic Aspiration, a medico-chirurgical method of diagnosis and treatment,” Dieulafoy presented fifty cases of hydarthrosis and some cases of pleurisy successfully treated by his method. It is impressive that his vacuum was manufactured until 1940.

Dieulafoy’s triad

Hypersensitivity of the skin, tenderness and muscular contraction at McBurney’s point in acute appendicitis

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

Dieulafoy’s lesion


the person behind the name

Dr William McGalliard LITFL Author

Graduated Medicine in 2020 from Queens University Belfast. Interested in Internal Medicine.

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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