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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


YOUNG, Pablo et al. Armand Trousseau (1801-1867), his history and the signs of hypocalcemia. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2014, vol.142, n.10, pp.1334-1337. ISSN 0034-9887.

Armand Trousseau (1801-1867) was born in Tours, France on October 14, 1801. He graduated as a physician in the same city under the direction of Pierre Bretonneau and received his doctorate in 1825 in Paris. He was the first physician to practice tracheotomy in diphtheria and perform thoracenteses to remove air or fluid from the pleural space. He recommended tracheal intubation in different scenarios. He described the first cases of laryngeal tuberculosis and the presence of carpopedal spasm in hypocalcemia, a sign that has his name. He also described the association between migratory thrombophlebitis and neoplasia, which is known as Trousseau’s syndrome. Ironically, on January 1, 1867 he diagnosed in himself a deep vein thrombosis of the left upper limb and told one of his disciples “I am lost; I have no doubt about the nature of my disease”. He died of gastric cancer at the age of 66 years on June 23, 1867. He carried out an educational and medical work. He instructed his students about the rather instantaneous thought process in clinical medicine. He always conducted his clinical work with the certainty of a sound scientific background. Contemporary physicians should take advantage of the example and lessons of Armand Trousseau.

Keywords : History of Medicine; Hypocalcemia; Medical records; Physical examination.

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