John Cheyne (1777-1836) was a Scottish surgeon and physician.

Cheyne was tutored at the University of Edinburgh by Alexander Monro secundus (1733-1817), who described the interventricular foramen

In 1812 Cheyne distinguished subarachnoid haemorrhage from intracerebral haemorrhage, and provided one of the first illustrations of subarachnoid haemorrhage.

In 1818 he described aorta steatomatous and wrote extensively on laryngotracheitis and hydrocephalus in children. Eponymously affiliated with Cheyne-Stokes Respiration (1818)

Cheyne suffered from depression towards the end of his life and wrote ‘Essays on the parital derangement of the mind’ as a therapeutic exercise


Biography
  • Born February 3, 1777 Leith, Scotland
  • 1790-1792: As the son of a surgeon, Cheyne assisted his father from the age of 13 with dressing and bleeding patients
  • 1792-1795: Cheyne commenced medical studies at the University of Edinburgh at the age of 15. He graduated as a doctor at age 18.
  • 1795: After graduating, Cheyne served with the military as a surgeon in the Artillery Corps in Woolwich
  • 1798: Served at the Battle of Vinegar Hill
  • 1799: Left the military and returned to Scotland to join his father’s practice at Ordinance Hospital in Leath
  • 1801: Studied pathology and dissection and together with Charles Bell published Essays of Diseases of Children
  • 1804: Married Sarah Macartney
  • 1809: Left Scotland and moved to Dublin, Ireland
  • 1811-1817: Worked as a physician at Meath Hospital, Dublin
  • 1813-1819: Appointed professor of medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Here he also taught war medicine
  • 1818: Described Cheyne-Stokes breathing in the Dublin Hospital Reports article: A case of apoplexy in which the fleshy part of the heart was converted into fat
  • 1820: Became the Physician General to British forces in Ireland. This was the highest medical rank in Ireland
  • 1825: Developed depression following the death of a close friend
  • 1831: Due to ongoing ill health, Cheyne retired to his estate in Buckinghamshire, England
  • Died January 31, 1836, Buckinghamshire, England. His work on mental disorders was published posthumously in 1843: Essays on the parital derangement of the mind in supposed connexion with religion

Medical Eponyms
Cheyne-Stokes Respiration (1818)

Abnormal pattern of breathing which oscillates between hyperventilation and apnoea seen in the end stages of illness

Hippocrates first described Cheyne-Stokes breathing over two millennia earlier as ‘respiration throughout like that of a man recollecting himself, and rare, and large’.


Major Publications

References

Biography

Eponymous terms


eponym

the person behind the name

BMBS, University of Exeter, UK. Currently working in Emergency Medicine in Perth, Australia. Interested in acute medicine and health inequality.

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM 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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