Pierre Merklen

Pierre Félix Merklen (1852 - 1906)

Pierre Félix Merklen (1852 – 1906) was a French physician and cardiologist.

In 1903 advocated the salt-free diet in heart failure


Biography


Medical Eponyms

Edgard Hirtz (1849 – 1916) described the genu-pectorale position as a sign of pericarditis in a patient with acute generalized articular rheumatism and dyspnoea [Hirtz Sign (1911)]. He acknowledged that Zehetmayer (1845) and Merklen (1892) each reported cases of large pericardial effusions relieved with positional changes.

…la dyspnée était telle que le malade passait tout son temps accroupi dans la position genu-pectorale, c’est-à-dire à genoux, le tronc renversé en avant et soutenu par les coudes. Cette position singulière nous fit immédiatement penser à une péricardite. Elle est, en effet, mentionnée dans quelques observations de péricardite avec épanchement abondant. Zehetmayer a rapporté l’histoire d’un malade qui ne pouvait respirer qu’accroupi sur les pieds et les mains. Gendrin avait déjà insisté sur cette extrême dyspnée qui, dans les distensions péricardiques, met les malades dans l’impossibilité de dormir autrement qu’assis sur leur lit et penchés en avant.

Merklen 1892

…the dyspnea was such that the patient spent all his time crouching in the knee-chest position, that is to say on his knees, the trunk overturned forward and supported by the elbows. This singular position immediately made us think of a pericarditis. It is, in fact, mentioned in some observations of pericarditis with profuse effusion. Zehetmayer reported the story of a patient who could only breathe crouching on his feet and hands. Gendrin had already insisted on this extreme dyspnea which, in pericardial distension, makes patients unable to sleep other than sitting on their beds and leaning forward.

Merklen 1892

Key Medical Attributions


Controversies


Major Publications


References


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Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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