Samuel Albert Levine (1891 – 1966) Polish-American cardiologist
Innovator in the treatment of coronary thrombosis patients. He recommended arm-chair recuperation within the first few days following an attack, instead of traditional bed rest.
An early advocate for the use of the ‘mechanical-electro-cardiograph’ to study heart patients, but he impressed upon his students the value of simple bedside methods of examination. He believed a physician should use the cardiogram to supplement his stethoscope.
- Born 1 January 1891 Łomża, Poland
- 1894 – Relocated to Boston, USA, aged 3
- 1914 – Graduated from Harvard Medical School
- 1914 – Undertook internship at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and a fellowship at the Rockefeller Institute.
- 1917 – Volunteered to join the British medical corps during World War 1. Levine was assigned to the British Heart Hospital, Colchester, where he worked under renowned cardiologists: Sir Clifford Allbutt, Sir William Osler, Sir James McKenzie, and Sir Thomas Lewis.
- 1919 – Returned to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
- 1921 – Advised the diagnosis of poliomyelitis for the paralytic illness of future President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- 1921 – Started a summer postgraduate cardiology course, which ran for 36 years at Harvard Medical School – the longest running course at the University.
- 1940 – Appointed physician at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
- 1948 – Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard
- Died 31 March 1966, in Massachusetts
Key Medical Attributions
- Published over 250 articles
- Wrote one of the first cases of coronary thrombosis
- Contributed to the pathophysiology understanding of pernicious anaemia (the lack of gastric hydrochloric acid)
- Reported one of the first successful cases of mitral valvulotomy in a 12-year-old girl
- Long-standing medical educator, with students such as Dr W Proctor Harvey, and Dr Bernard Lown
- Several textbooks in cardiology, and clinical skills
- Lown–Ganong–Levine syndrome – Pre-excitation syndrome with short PR interval (A-V conduction time), normal QRS duration and paroxysms of tachycardia: Lown B – Ganong WF – Levine SA
- Levine Scale (Levine Grading Scale) – a six-point grading system that is used to define the volume or intensity of a heart murmur with an acoustic stethoscope
- Levine’s sign – clenched fist held over the chest to describe ischemic chest pain
- Samuel A. Levine Professorship (Harvard, 1954) founded with a gift from the late Charles E. Merrill of New York
- Levine SA, Tranter CL. Infarction of the heart simulating acute surgical abdominal conditions. American Journal Of The Medical Sciences. 1918;155:57-65.
- Levine SA: Coronary Thrombosis: Its Various Clinical Features. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore. 1929.
- Levine SA, Ladd WS. Pernicious anemia: A clinical study of one hundred and fifty consecutive cases with special reference to gastric anacidity. Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin. 1921;32(366):254-286.
- Cutler EC, Levine SA: Cardiotomy and valvulotomy for mitral stenosis: Experimental observations and clinical notes concerning an operated case with recovery. Boston Med Surg J. 1923;188:1023-27
- Levine SA, Lown B. The “chair” treatment of acute thrombosis. Trans Assoc Am Physicians. 1951;64:316-27. [PMID 14884265]
Levine SA, Lown B. “Armchair” treatment of acute coronary thrombosis. J Am Med Assoc. 1952 Apr 19;148(16):1365-9. [PMID 14907380].
- Lown B, Ganong WF, Levine SA. The syndrome of short P-R interval, normal QRS complex and paroxysmal rapid heart action. Circulation. 1952 May;5(5):693-706. [PMID 14926053]
Levine SA. Clinical Heart Disease. 1936
- Samuel Albert Levine (1891-1966). Br Heart J. 1966;28(6):853-4. PMC490104
- Levine HJ. Samuel A. Levine (1891-1966). Clin Cardiol. 1992 Jun;15(6):473-6. PMID: 1617831.
- Edmondstone WM. Cardiac chest pain: does body language help the diagnosis? 1995; BMJ. 311 (7021): 1660–1 [PMC2539106]
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