DOI: 10.17720/2409-5834.v6.4.2019.02b

Sergey A. Kutia1,
Natalia G. Nikolaeva2,
Gennady A. Moroz1,
Igor A. Verchenko1
1V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University
4 Prospekt Vernadskogo, Simferopol 295007, Russia
2Kazan State Medical University
49 Butlerova St., Kazan 420012, Russia

The ileocecal valve is also known as Bauhin’s valve, after the Swiss scientist Caspar Bauhin (1560–1624), who discovered it in 1579. This paper aims to reconstruct the chronology of Bauhin’s discovery of the ileocecal valve and its circumstances, using the following works by him: his appendices to his Latin translation of François Rousset’s L’hystérotomotokie ou enfantement césarien (1586), and Bauhin’s De corporis humani partibus externis (1588), De corporis humani fabrica: libri IIII (1590), Anatomica corporis virilis et muliebris historia (1597) and Theatrum anatomicum (1st ed. 1605; 2nd ed. 1621). We note that Bauhin discovered the ileocecal valve in 1579, while studying at the University of Paris, during a private anatomy lesson given by Thomas Koch (while washing some intestines, pouring water into them through the jejunum and the rectum in turn). Bauhin described its structure and purpose, as well as the circumstances of the discovery, for the first time in great detail in 1586 in an appendix to his Latin translation of L’hystérotomotokie ou enfantement césarien by the French physician François Rousset (1535–1590). From the second edition of Bauhin’s Theatrum anatomicum (1621), we know that prior to him the valve’s existence was known to the Italian anatomist Costanzo Varolio (1543–1575). However, the latter’s observations were not published until after his death, in his Anatomiae, sive de resolutione corporis humani (1591).

Keywords: history of medicine, history of anatomy, eponym, ileocecal valve, Caspar Bauhin, Costanzo Varolio

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