V.I. Borodulin1, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor

S.P. Glyantsev1,2, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor

A.V. Topolyanskiy3, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor 

1N.A. Semashko National Public Health Research Institute, Moscow (Russian Federation);

2The National Research Institute of Public Health of Bakoulev Scientific Center

for Cardiovascular Surgery, Moscow (Russian Federation);

3The Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry named after A.I. Evdokimov, Moscow (Russian Federation)

The article is devoted to the scientific work and the tragic fate of prominent Moscow professors and cardiologists Ya.G. Etinger and V.E. Nezlin. Etinger’s book on electrocardiographic diagnosis of acute coronary artery thrombosis, small-focal and recurrent myocardial infarction and his clinical work on rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic peritonitis was high-priority, classical work. Nezlin’s books were devoted to pathology and the clinical approach to rheumatism, diagnostic possibilities using electrocardiographic methods, and clinical electrocardiographic investigation of coronary heart disease, which served as scientific and practical guidance for several generations of Soviet doctors. His monograph “Rheumatic heart disease” (1968) reflected the transition to instrumental diagnosis and a new understanding of heart defects as a now mainly surgical problem. Among the doctors closest to Etinger, were Nezlin and a renowned expert on electrocardiography, Sofia Karpai. In the late Stalin era, Etinger’s, Nezlin’s and Karpai’s names were linked to a tragic episode in the “Doctors’ Plot” serving Kremlin medical purposes, arrested by the KGB and rehabilitated after Stalin’s death. The authors conclude that Etinger’s and Nezlin’s scientific and medical skill level suggests that they were among the country’s leading cardiologists of the 1940s to 1960s, that is, the period that saw clinical cardiology become an independent scientific and educational discipline.

Keywords: history of cardiology, doctors’ plot, rheumatism and heart disease, electrocardiography, Ya.G. Etinger, V.E.Nezlin, S.E. Karpai

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Published in Vol. 3. №1, 2015

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