A mystery diagnosis

The unusual case histories posted on this blog often defy easy explanation. Indeed, I have an entire category of posts entitled ‘mysterious illnesses’. But however exotic the symptoms it is usually possible to suggest some arcane diagnosis to explain them.

Not this time.

This case from 1825 has me utterly stumped. It is, by the standards of two hundred years … Read more

The heart surgeon and the Nazis

The American Michael DeBakey was one of the giants of twentieth-century surgery. His extraordinary career spanned eight decades, beginning in the 1930s and ending only with his death at the age of 99 in 2008. He is best known today as a pioneering cardiac surgeon, but in the early 1950s he and his then colleague Denton Cooley also revolutionised the … Read more