Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682 – 1771) was an Italian physician, anatomist and pathologist.
Morgagni often described as the ‘father of anatomic pathology’. He correlated postmortem pathology and clinical findings and was known for his exactitude and precision, in both his dissections and his writing. He determined that diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease must be based on an exact understanding of pathological changes in anatomical structures
He believed in contagion and would not dissect patients with tuberculosis or smallpox. Virchow considered that Morgagni introduced modern pathology – ‘with him begins modern medicine‘
- Born 25 February 1682 Forli, Italy
- University of Bologna, Pupil of Valsalva
- Died 5 December 1771
- Morgagni hernia – one of the congenital diaphragmatic hernias. Characterised by herniation through the foramen of Morgagni. In comparison to Bochdalek hernia, they are more anterior and more often right-sided (~90%)
- Crohn’s disease. One of the earliest description in 1761
Key Medical Attributions
- Morgagni proved Valsalva’s contention that the cerebral lesion in stroke causing paralysis is on the opposite side of the brain.
- He described Fallot’s tetralogy, aortic coarctation; pneumonia with consolidation; and Crohn’s disease.
Morgagni described Stokes-Adams attacks in a patient (a merchant of Padua):
When visiting by way of consultation, I found with such a rarity of the pulse that within the 60th part of an hour the pulsastions were only 22 – and this rareness which was perpetual – was perceived to be even more considerable, as often as even two (epileptic) attacks were at hand – so that the physicians were never deceived from the increase of the rareness they foretold a paroxysm to be coming on.
- Morgagni GB. Adversaria anatomica: Prima; Tertia; Quarta; Quinta; Sexta. [Omnia; Altera]. 1719
- Morgagni GB. De sedibus, et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis. Tomus Secundus; Tomus Tertius. 1761
- Morgagni GB. The seats and causes of diseases investigated by anatomy (3 volumes: Translation by Benjamin Alexander) 1769. Vol II, Vol III
- Morgagni GB. The seats and causes of diseases, investigated by anatomy (2 Volumes: translation by William Cooke) 1882 Vol II
- Zani A, Cozzi DA. Giovanni Battista Morgagni and his contribution to pediatric surgery. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2008; 43(4): 729–733
the person behind the name