Vincent Alexander Bochdalek

Vincent Alexander Bochdalek (1801–1883) Czech anatomist and pathologist

Described as an ‘un-charismatic teacher with a monotonous and dry diction‘, Bochdalek was however instrumental in the foundation of the ‘Prague School of Medicine‘ (German: Prager Schule)

He is recognized for his accurate description of his description of the lumbocostal triangle in the posterior part of the diaphragm (Bochdalek foramen) and the enteral hernia that can arise through it (Bochdalek hernia)


  • Born 11 February 1801 Skřipov, Czech Republic
  • 1833 – Doctorate, Thesis: A Guide to the Practical Dissection of the Human Brain
  • 1837 – First Pathological Prosector, General Hospital in Prague
  • 1845 – Professor of General, Comparative and Surgical Anatomy and Head of the Department of Anatomy
  • Dean of Charles-Ferdinand University
  • Following retirement in 1872, he was asked to embalm Franz Ferdinand V, the last crowned king of Bohemia.
  • Died 3 February 1883 Litoměřice, Bohemia

Medical Eponyms

Bochdalek hernia (1848)

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia due to failure of closure of the pleuroperitoneal hiatus (foramen of Bochdalek) which allows protrusion of abdominal viscera into the chest. It is five times more common on the left side than on the right. Most common form of hernia in infants.

  • Bochdalek foramen – the lumbocostal triangle in the posterior part of the diaphragm. Congenital incomplete fusion of the pleuroperitoneal membranes failing to to close the pleuroperitoneal canal.
  • Bochdalek cyst – congenital cyst at the root of the tongue
  • Bochdalek basket (Bochdalesches Blumenkörbchen) – benign, incidental finding of protrusion of the choroid plexus through the foramina of Luschka
  • Bochdalek canal – minute canal passing obliquely through the tympanic membrane, opening on its external surface

Major Publications


In the Czech Republic public register of births his surname was recorded as ‘Bohdalek‘ the German spelling. However, in later years he insisted on the Czech spelling of his name ‘Bochdalek‘, because he disagreed with the pronunciation that resulted from the German spelling


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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