versión On-line ISSN 0717-9502
Int. J. Morphol. v.22 n.1 Temuco 2004
ANDREAE VESALII: THE BONES AND MUSCLES
ANDREA VESALII: LOS HUESOS Y LOS MÚSCULOS
VASCONCELLOS, A. H. & VASCONCELLOS, B. P. H. Andreae Vesalii: The bone and muscles. Int. J. Morphol., 22(1):5-8, 2004.
SUMMARY: The historical references are taken from Aristoteles (384-322 a C) considered the father of Kinesiology, and Claudius Galenus from Pergamon (131-201), the first team doctor. Both men´s studies shared the same objective: functional-anatomic aspects related to the Locomotive System. Although there were several descriptive anatomic studies of bones and muscles, it was Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), whom most significantly contributed to the development of a new methodology for the lectures of Anatomy, with the setting up of skeletons and dissection of bodies during his lessons. Objectives: the aim of this paper is study the description of bones and muscles from the Vesalius works.
We search Vesalius´s publications, specially "De Humani Corporis Fabrica Liber Septem (1543). Results: Bones and muscles were studied by Vesalius in 1st and 2nd chapters of his Fabrica. He described: scapula; incus and malleus; pre-maxillar; mandible; hyoid; vertebrae; sphenoid; clavicle; bones of the carpus; sternum (with three bones); os vesalianum. The author defines the muscles shown in the Fabrica as "full of life" . These are contracted muscles, giving the presentation a anatomic-functional aspects, which is referred as an essential contribution payed by Vesalius. He described the muscles choanoides and the rectus of abdomen, and determined the action of tendons and muscles.
It ´s evident the interest of Vesalius by bones and muscles. The artistic aspects were realized by Johann Stephan Kalkar which is able to show bones and muscles in action. We can conclude the importance of the findings of Vesalius to the modern Human Anatomy even though some of the descriptions and definitions have changed over time.
KEY WORDS: 1. Andreas Vesalius; 2. Bones; 3. Muscles; 4. Anatomy; 5. Locomotive System.
The historical references are taken from Aristoteles (384-322 BC), considered the father of Kinesiology´, and from Claudius Galenus of Pergamon (131-201), the first team doctor. Both men's studies shared the same objective: functional-anatomic aspects related to the Locomotive System (Gardner et al., 1971).
Although there were several descriptive anatomic studies of bones and muscles, it was Andreas Vesalius (1514 1564), whom most significantly contributed to the development of a new methodology for the lectures of Anatomy, with the setting up of skeletons and dissection of bodies during his lessons. Published in 1543, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Liber Septem was Vesalius' most remarkable work, for it contained new anatomic concepts as well as some of Galenius' descriptions. The modifications suggested by Vesalius aroused several criticisms and reprovals in the scientific community. Even so, his work achieved recognition for the great importance of his findings.
Brief historical background of Andreae Vesalii. Born in 31st December, 1514 in Brussels, Belgium, as Andreas van Wesele, became known as Andreae Vesalii (Andreas Vesalius). Coming from a family of physicians, since his childhood years Vesalius demonstrated interest in Anatomy he was frequently seen dissecting animal corpses. His medical studies begun in Louvain University in Belgium, followed by a trip to Paris at the age of 19 where he became the student of Jacobus Sylvius (Jacques Dubois), who tutored Vesalius into dissecting the corpses of dogs. Johannes Günther took Vesalius as his personal assistant in dissections of human bodies. In the year of 1536, Vesalius left Paris and went back to Brussels to continue his studies, and a year later he graduated in Padua at the age of 23, also becoming the Head of the Department of Surgery and Anatomy of Padua. He also taught in Bologna, where he was later transferred to at the request of his alumni. Tabulae anatomicae sex was published in the year of 1538, for the first time modifying some concepts established by Galenus.
Vesalius became the first modern anatomist to have his studies based on his own observations, as he introduced human body dissections in the classrooms. However, because his findings contradicted those of Galenus untouchable at the time a lot of controversy was aroused, resulting in some enmities such as those of his teachers Jacobus Sylvius and Johannes Günther. Even so, Vesalius was able to establish a relationship of respect and affection with the latter.
In the year of 1543, Veslius goes to Basileia at the age of 28 and publishes De Humani Corporis Fabrica Liber Septem, a work considered of a great value by specialists in the History of Medicine, for the scientific method that had been employed in the descriptions of the human body structures, as well as the corrections made in most of the previous anatomic affirmations, which were under constant questioning and doubt. Vesalius also showed his personal erudition in his Fabrica when he used Hebraic and Arabic in the text of the book (Dobson, 1962; Friedman & Friedland, 2000; Gordon, 1996; O´Rahilly, 1993).
Realdus Columbus (1516 1559) and Gabriel Fallopius (1523 1559), outstanding among Vesalius' supporters, succeeded him in Padua's Human Anatomy Discipline, confirming many of his discoveries.
Vesalius was the doctor of the court of the Roman Emperor, Carlos V, from 1546 to 1556, the year that the Emperor abdicated. Serving King Felipe II of Spain, Vesalius was one of the victims of a shipwreck coming back from Jerusalem in the year of 1564. He starved to death in the Greek Island of Zante at the age of 50 (Bezerra, 2002).
Bones and muscles of "Fabrica". The Fabrica is divided into seven volumes, the first of which focusing on bones and joints, and the remaining one on muscles.
Bones. In the first volume the bones that compose the skull are described, followed by their classification into long, large and rounded. For the first time the Sphenoid bone is described together with the mentioning of a gap named Forame of Vesalius. The incus and malleus are also presented for the first time but there is still no mention of the stapes.
The isolated presence of the pre-maxillar bone in humans, as had been previously observed in dogs, was not accepted by Vesalius as it had been by Galenus (Fig. 1).
| ||Fig. 1. The human skull is shown on the pre-maxillar observed in dogs (Singer, 1996).|
The mandible is represented as a single bone, instead of two, again contradicting what had already been established. In the same picture the disk of temporomandibular joint can be seen represented in an anatomic atlas for the first time. As has been said by some authors, the hyoid bone was presented in a similar way to that of a dog's (Fig. 2).
| ||Fig. 2. The mandible, as a single bone; the disk of temporomandibular joint (Saunders & O´Malley, 2002).|
The vertebrae are well represented in Fabrica, for either general, regional and functional characterisitcs. Once again a comparative study with monkeys had been carried out (Saunders & O´Malley, 2002).
The poor quality and the mistakes in the drawings of the ribs and of the scapula have been criticised. However, the sternum was the best represented bone and also better defined in its division into three instead of seven, as it had been previously represented. The clavicle was just as well described. A quote from Vesalius: "Adam sons do not lack a rib, therefore Eva must have originated from somewhere else."
The long bones of the arm were presented far too short, but the bones of the hand are represented more accurately. The account of the presence of an supernumerary bone in the base of the 5th metacarpal and of the marrow in the bones of the carpus again aroused controversy, as Galeno did not accept this hypothesis.
The drawings of the pelvic bones are of good quality and precise. The characteristics of the descriptions of the bones of the superior limb mainly that they are very short repeat in those of the inferior limbs. It is observable, from the drawing that shows the angle between the tubercular eminence of the fifth metatarsal and the cuboid, a small and rounded bone, similiar to that of the hand, named under Os Vesalianum, however, of a doubtful existence (Singer, 1996; Saunders & O´Malley) (Fig. 3).
| ||Fig. 3. The long bones of the leg were presented far too short (Saunders & O´Malley, 2002).|
Muscles. The text defines the muscles shown in the Fabrica as "full of life". These are contracted mucles, giving the presentation a anatomic-funtional aspect, which is referred as an essential contribution payed by Vesalius.
The rectus of abdomen muscle is shown as alongated up to the upper ribs, a fact that shows the concern of Vesalius in emphasising the comparison of anatomy with the monkeys A muscle in the neck, a characteristic of the monkeys, is shown as present in the anatomy of humans (Fig. 4).
| ||Fig. 4. The muscles. A body is seen in its frontals: the rectus of abdomen muscle is shown as alongated up to the upper ribs (Singer, 1996).|
The scalenus muscle is above the serratus magnus muscle and in front of the ribs. This is likely to be yet another aspect of comparative anatomy now with the dog, which also has the same muscle presentation.
The choanoides muscle is described as the 7th eye muscle. However, Casserius (Giuliuo Casserius Piacenza; 1561-1616) has later proven that this muscle is only found in the body of some animals and not in the human body.
The descriptions are of a high quality in all drawings. In the first a body is seen in its frontals. In the second picture, the side of a body can be observed, followed by a sequence of muscular dissections. In the same picture we can see superficial and deep muscles, relative to the bodily segments. It is remarkable to observe that in all drawings the bodies appear to be moving (Singer).
Finally, we should make a reference to the artist who provided such drawings. Above the controversy, Johann Stephan von Kalkar, painter and pupil of Titian, seems to be the author of all the representations of bones and muscles of the two first chapters of the Fabrica. There is a debate between historians that there isn't so much beauty in other drawings as there is in these two chapters, showing Vesalius' concern in employing the specialised work of von Kalkar, which is able to show bones and muscles in action. It is also interesting to notice that Padua's landscapes can be seen in all drawings, as if to show the map of entrance to the town.
Final Comments: We can draw as a conclusion the importance of the findings of Vesalius to the Modern Human Anatomy, even though some of the descriptions and definitions have changed over time. But if we still have doubts today, imagine how would it be if we did not have a precursor such as Vesalius, to guide us through the basic structure of the human body. We still have questions about the immense box of secrets that the human body is, but currently we do not have scientific genius that Vesalius was, to support us.
May all secrets be revealed and that Anatomy may continue to help diagnosis, the planning of clinical or cirurgical treatments of the diseases that aflict the human being.
Words from Vesalius: "Nothing more useful could I do but to provide a new description of the totality of the human body, an anatomy misuderstood by all once Galeno offered very little on the subject despite his long writtings. I do not see another way on which I could have shown my effort towards my pupils."
Acknowledgement: We wish to tanks Gabriela de Barros Wirz Martins for the english manuscript revision and Brenda Tan Maia for the spanish revision.
VASCONCELLOS, A. H. & VASCONCELLOS, B. P. H. Andreae Vesalii: Los músculos y los huesos Int. J. Morphol., 22(1):5-8, 2004.
RESUMEN: Relatos históricos mencionan a Aristóteles (384-322 a C, padre de la Kinesiología) y Claudio Galeno (131-201, 1. Médico de equipo) como los primeros en dedicarse al estudio del Aparato Locomotor. Sin embargo, la descripción anatómica de los huesos y de los músculos se debe a Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), por la introducción de la preparación de esqueletos y disección de cuerpos durante sus clases. El objetivo de este trabajo fue estudiar en la obra de este anatomista, principalmente en De Humani Corporis fabrica Liber Septem, sus principales colaboraciones en el Aparato Locomotor. Por lo anterior, consultamos la literatura especializada, y en ella, la mayor referencia es hecha a Fabrica, publicada en 1543.
Vesalius dedicó los 2 primeros capítulos, de esta obra, a los huesos y músculos. Describió originalmente los huesos: esfenoides; bigornia y martillo; pre-maxilar; mandíbula; hioides; vértebras; escápula; clavícula; huesos del carpo; esternón (compuesto de 3 partes); Os vesalianum. Los músculos fueron tratados, por Vesalio, de manera clara y precisa, a través de figuras que los muestran en fase de contracción, sugeriendo movimiento del segmento en que están localizados. Describió el choanoides y mostró la fijación superior del músculo recto del abdomen arriba de las costillas superiores; representó y analizó las acciones tendinosas y musculares, en los diversos segmentos del cuerpo.
Vesalius tuvo mucho interés en mostrar con precisión los huesos y los músculos en los 2 primeros capítulos de su Fabrica. Como era exigente y quería describir detalladamente estas estructuras, seleccionó a Jan Stefan van Kalcar para realizar los dibujos de estos capítulos, que son los considerados de mayor belleza y precisión. Vesalius promovió un avance en relación a la descripción de huesos y músculos, posibilitando el progreso de los estudios de la anatomía funcional del cuerpo humano.
PALABRAS CLAVE: 1. Andrés Vesalio; 2. Huesos; 3. Músculos; 4. Anatomía; 5. Aparato Locomotor.
Bezerra, A. J. C. Admirável Mundo Médico: a arte na História da Medicina. Brasilia-DF, CRMDF, 2002. [ Links ]
Dobson, J. Anatomical Eponyms. Edinburg-London, Livingstone, 1962. [ Links ]
Friedman, M. & Friedland, G. W. As dez maiores descobertas da Medicina. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2000. [ Links ]
Gardner, E.; Gray, D. J. & O'Rahilly, R. Anatomia. Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Koogan, 1971. [ Links ]
Gordon, R. A. Assustadora História da Medicina. Rio de Janeiro, Ediouro, 1996. [ Links ]
O'Rahilly, R. Commemorating the Fabrica of Vesalius. Acta Anat., 148:228-30, 1993. [ Links ]
Saunders, J. B. C. M. & O'Malley, C. Andreas Vasalius de Bruxelas. Campinas, Ateliê Editorial- Edital Unicamp-Imprensa Oficial SP, 2002. [ Links ]
Singer, C. Uma breve História da Anatomia e Fisiologia desde os Gregos até Harvey. Campinas, Editora Unicamp, 1996. [ Links ]
Prof. Dr. Henrique Ayres de Vasconcellos
Caixa Postal 46523
Rio de Janeiro-RJ
Recibido : 12-11-2003
Aceptado : 17-12-2003