William Dressler

William (Wilhelm) Dressler (1890 – 1969) was a Jewish-American cardiologist.

Dr W Dressler published numerous articles and textbooks on cardiology and electrocardiography. Dressler’s Clinical Cardiology (1942) became a classic book of cardiological diagnosis.

As Director of Cardiology at Maimonides Medical Centre, Dressler identified a post-myocardial infarction syndrome eponymously ascribed with his name – Dressler Syndrome (1956).

He is also eponymous with Dressler beat (1952), which he described as a ‘ventricular fusion beat‘ in the presence of paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia.


Biography
  • Born 9 August 1890, Vienna, Austria
  • 1915 – Achieved MD qualification, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 1934 – Cardiologist in Vienna
  • 1938 – Emigrated to the USA as a refugee
  • 1938-67 – Director of the cardiology clinic and electrocardiographic laboratory at Maimonides Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Died 10 October 1969, New York, USA

Medical Eponyms
Dressler beat (1952)

A ‘ventricular fusion beat’ in the presence of paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia.

Dressler syndrome (1956)

Pericarditis occurring up to 10 weeks following a myocardial infarction, also referred to as post myocardial infarction syndrome (PMIS)


Controversies

Note: Dressler syndrome (1854) – intermittent haemoglobinuria associated with haemolytic disorders was described by Lucas A Dressler. (Dressler LA. Ein Fall von intermittirender Albuminurie und Chromaturie. Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medicin. 1854;6:264-266)

Despite later publishing research on the success of cardiac pacemakers, Dr W Dressler was initially reluctant to his Maimonides Medical Centre colleague’s (Dr A Kantrowitz) idea of implanting a self-made pacemaker into his patient with Adams-Stokes syndrome. Dressler was said to have approached the hospital director to dismiss the pacemaker insertion, stating “that man [Kantrowitz] is too much. He wants to put a battery in my patient!”


Major Publications

References

Biography

Eponymous terms


eponymictionary CTA

eponym

the person behind the name

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

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