Ludwig Aschoff

Karl Albert Ludwig Aschoff (1866 - 1942)

Karl Albert Ludwig Aschoff (1866 – 1942) was a German physician and pathologist.

regarded as the most important German pathologist after Rudolf Virchow

  • Born 10 January 1866
  • 1899 – Medical degree from the University of Bonn
  • 1906 – University of Freiburg
  • Died 24 June 1942 in Freiburg, Germany

Medical Eponyms
Rokitansky–Aschoff sinuses (1842, 1905)

Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses are the result of hyperplasia and herniation of epithelial cells through the fibromuscular layer of the gallbladder wall and are usually referred to as adenomyomatosis of the gallbladder. [aka *Luschka’s sinuses, crypts, glands, or ducts]

Aschoff bodies (1904)

Granuloma in the myocardium specific for rheumatic fever.

In his work on rheumatic myocarditis, Aschoff described the characteristic Aschoff body and presented a histopathological picture of myocarditis that was to exert a great influence on the classification of the disease. [also aka *Aschoff-Geipel bodies after independent description by German pathologist Paul Rudolf Geipel (1869-1956) publication Untersuchungen über rheumatische Myokarditis in 1906]

Aschoff-Tawara node (1906)

The atrioventricular node [AV node; Node of Tawara; Aschoff-Tawara node]

Knowledge of the conduction system of the heart was greatly advanced by the work of Sunao Tawara 田原 淳, (1873 – 1952) in Aschoff’s laboratory in Marburg at the beginning of this century. Tawara’s monograph, ‘Das Reizleitungssystem des Säugetierherzens‘ [The Conduction System of the Mammalian Heart] established the link between the bundle of His and the Purkinje fibers by discovering the left and the right bundle branch, the interposed components between them, and by identifying the Purkinje fibers as the terminal ramifications of these components. Tawara added another component, the atrioventricular node, and defined these components as a system – the conduction system of the heart.

The AV node is sometimes referred to as the Aschoff-Tawara node. However, although Tawara’s work on the conduction system was carried out in Aschoff’s laboratory and under his guidance, Aschoff did not claim to be a co-author of the monograph, only providing the foreword to Tawara’s work.

Major Publications


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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