Louis Nelson Katz

Louis Nelson Katz (1897-1973)

Louis Nelson Katz (1897-1973) was an American cardiologist.

Widely respected for his contributions to cardiovascular physiology and clinical cardiology (over 500 journal publications of original research).

Katz played leading roles in the American Heart Association and in a large number of American and international organizations devoted to the heart and circulation

Katz is eponymously associated with Katz-Wachtel phenomenon (1937)

  • Born 1897 in Pinsk, Poland
  • 1900 – Emigrated to Cleveland, United States of America
  • 1918 – Western Reserve University (WRU), Cleveland, A.B. degree; 1921 – M.D. degree; 1923 – M.A. degree
  • 1924-25 – Research Fellowship in the Department of Physiology, University of London, with Professor Archibald Hill (Nobel Laureate)
  • 1924 – Elected to the American Physiological Society (APS)
  • 1927 – Assistant Professor of Physiology, WRU
  • 1928-30 – Consultant cardiologist St. Luke’s Hospital, Cleveland
  • 1930 – Director of the Cardiovascular Research Department (Cardiovascular Institute) of Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago; and Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University of Chicago
  • 1952-54 – APS Membership Advisory Committee (chairman 1953-1954)
  • 1954-57 – Chairman of Program Advisory Committee
  • 1957-58 – Elected 30th President of the APS
  • 1967 – Director emeritus of the Cardiovascular Institute
  • Died 1973

Medical Eponyms
Katz-Wachtel phenomenon (1937)

Large biphasic RS complexes in V2-5. This is the classic ECG pattern of Biventricular Hypertrophy, most commonly seen in children with ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Katz and Wachtel suggested that large diphasic complexes in the standard limb leads were pathognomnic of congenital heart disease. They proposed that the QRS contour may represent combined right and left ventricular ‘strain

Katz-Wachtel phenomenon Biventricular hypertrophy in a child with VSD
Katz-Wachtel phenomenon

Key Medical Attributions
  • Over 500 publications of original research across a wide range of cardiology, including electrophysiology, hypertension, haemodynamics, cardiovascular metabolism, experimental atherosclerosis, pharmacodynamics, respiration, cardiovascular anatomy and pathology, and psychosomatic and epidemiologic aspects of heart disease
  • Major roles in numerous associations, including: International Society of Cardiology (1962), Inter-American Society of Cardiology (1948), American Physiological Society (1957), American Society for the Study of Arteriosclerosis (1954), Chicago Heart Association, and American Heart Association (1942)

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Doctor in Australia. Keen interest in internal medicine, medical education, and medical history.

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a 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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