Landmark Case Reports

In 1896, Robert Jones submitted the first publication reporting a radiograph of a bullet seen inside the human body. A 12-year-old boy shot himself in the left hand ‘‘just above the left palmar arch’’. The bullet, a lead pellet, could not be found on enlarging the wound and it was ‘‘thought injudicious to prolong the search’’ given the ‘‘important structures in the...
(Vol 14 p L3-L4, Landmark case report: 11 November 2014)
John Ormond is credited with the first description of idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis (RF) in the English literature. Seventeen years later, he speculated correctly that the disease was systemic and was in the same group of diseases as lupus, scleroderma and periarteritis. Presently, idiopathic RF is considered part of a recently defined group of diseases known as...
(Vol 14 p L1-L3, Landmark case report: 2 April 2014)
In 1937, Professor Hulusi Behçet, a Turkish dermatologist, described two cases of relapsing ulceration of the mouth, eye and genitalia, a triple symptom complex that now characterizes the multisystem disorder that was named after him. The periodic relapses led Behçet to attribute these symptoms to a viral infection. This was subsequently found to be inaccurate and current...
(Vol 11 p L1-L2, Landmark case report: 28 December 2011)
In 1961, Van Reeth and colleagues described the presence of intracellular inclusion bodies in the anterior horn cells of a patient with Pick dementia and atypical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A year later, Tat’yana Bunina, a neuropathologist from the USSR, described inclusion bodies with almost identical morphology, in the spinal cords and brain stems of two cases...
(Vol 10 p L6-L9, Landmark case report: 22 July 2010)
Wegener’s granulomatosis, first described by Friedrich Wegener in 1936, is a systemic vasculitis that characteristically causes necrotizing granulomas of the respiratory tract and necrotizing cresentic glomerulonephritis. This article describes the history and modern treatment of the disease in conjunction with a clinical case.
(Vol 10 p L1-L5, Landmark case report: 10 May 2010)
The inception of spinal anaesthesia can be traced to James Leonard Corning, a New York neurologist who inadvertently administered cocaine spinal anaesthesia in 1885. In 1898 August Karl Gustav Bier, a German surgeon, pioneered the successful use of operative spinal anaesthesia in lower limb surgery. Early spinal anaesthesia was fraught with complications but through...
(Vol 9 p L1-L4, Landmark Case report: 15 September 2009)
Hartmann's procedure, first described by the French surgeon Henri Albert Hartmann in 1921, is one of the most commonly performed operations. This paper examines the history behind this operation and assesses its significance in modern surgical practice.
(Vol 8 p L1-L3, Landmark Case Report: 13 May 2008)
Allen Oldfather Whipple is a name that will be forever eponymously associated with pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer. This paper presents the history behind this procedure.
(Vol 7 p L1-L2, Landmark Case Report: 5 September 2007)
In 1920 Walter Ellis Sistrunk described the classic operation of thyroglossal cyst excision including the central portion of the hyoid bone and a core of tissue around the thyroglossal tract to open into the oral cavity at the foramen caecum. We present this paper and discuss its relevance to current practice.
(Vol 6 p L1-L2, Landmark case report, Otolaryngology, Paediatric Surgery: 28 November 2006)
Sir James Paget’s seminal description of the clinical findings of the bone disease that now bears his name in 1877 holds true today, but his reference to the disease as osteitis deformans, implying an inflammation of the bone, is not accurate, and it is now called osteodystrophia deformans.
(Vol 4 p L18-L19, Landmark Case Report; Rheumatology: November 2004)
The first report of a successful operation for carotid stenosis in 1954 owes credit to the neurologist Fischer who noted that carotid disease is localized and thus could conceivably be bypassed or locally excised. With this knowledge Professor Pickering of St Mary’s Hospital, London, wisely obtained a carotid arteriogram on one of his patients and suggested to Rob and...
(Vol 4 p L15-L17, Landmark Case Report; General Surgery; Vascular Disease: October 2004)
Harvey Cushing’s first description of the eponymous disease attributed to him is reproduced here together with a modern commentary.
(Vol 4 p L10-L11, Landmark Case Report: September 2004)
Following the first administration of ether as an anaesthetic in 1846, by William Morton in Boston, news travelled rapidly to London where Liston was responsible for introducing this technique to the United Kingdom. Squire wrote to the Lancet about his own early experiments with ether as well as anaesthetising for the initial operation at University College Hospital. We...
(Vol 4 p L12-L14, Landmark Case Report; Anaesthesia: September 2004)
Thomas Addison’s description of the disease named after him first appears in a book entitled ‘On the constitutional and local effects of disease of the supra-renal capsules’ published by Samuel Highley of 32 Fleet Street London in 1855. This is a superb publication graced with excellent figures as can be seen from the accompanying reprint. Case II from the five cases...
(Vol 4 p L8-L9, Landmark Case Report; Endocrinology: May 2004)
The scientists William S. Tillett and Sol Sherry were responsible for the introduction of intrapleural fibrinolytics as therapeutic agents, thus supplementing antimicrobial therapy in the treatment of empyema. They were the first to suggest the possibility that the use of these drugs in empyema might obviate the need for radical surgical procedures. This article...
(Vol 4 p L4-L7, Landmark Case Report; Respiratory Medicine: April 2004)
Heart transplantation was and is still recognised as a medical milestone. Its ability to offer a second chance of life to people with end-stage cardiac disease is its major triumph. Dr Christiaan Barnard’s work was instrumental in realising the actual possibility of conducting a human transplant, and provided the framework for further advances in this field. He deserves...
(Vol 4 p L1-L3, Landmark Case Report; Cardiothoracic Surgery; Transplantation: March 2004)


Frank Cross
Consultant Vascular and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, UK


Neil Barnes
Consultant Physician
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
Ali Jawad
Professor of Rheumatology
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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