The year 2023 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723). Valsalva was a leading physician across the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, specifically for his focus on experimental physiology, the science dealing with the normal functioning of bodily organs as a basis for a better understanding of diseases, symptoms, and care. He used a top-down systematic approach typical of the Enlightenment, rather than a heuristic one ("trial-and-error"), which became feasible after the long-lasting ban on dissecting human corpses was lifted. Valsalva's main interest was exploring the complex structure of the human ear, to which he dedicated a specific treatise, "De Aure Humana". He understood the issues inherent in the imbalance in pressure between outer and inner ear, and found ways how to exploit it to get rid of purulent fluid, by deliberately raising the inside pressure with his maneuver. Time was however not yet ripe to see the broader importance that the Valsalva maneuver would achieve, not just in otorhinolaryngology, but also in cardiology and other fields of medicine. Although Valsalva's name is usually associated his maneuver, his contributions to the history of medicine were broader: he discovered several anatomical parts (i.e. the sinuses of Valsalva), built the basis for the development of pathological anatomy, introduced advances in surgery, promoted a compassionate care of patients affected by mental diseases.

Forcieri, S., Beretta, E., Riva, M. (2022). Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723) and the Birth of Experimental Physiology. ADVANCES IN PHYSIOLOGY EDUCATION [10.1152/advan.00126.2022].

Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723) and the Birth of Experimental Physiology

Beretta, Egidio
Secondo
;
Riva, Michele Augusto
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The year 2023 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723). Valsalva was a leading physician across the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, specifically for his focus on experimental physiology, the science dealing with the normal functioning of bodily organs as a basis for a better understanding of diseases, symptoms, and care. He used a top-down systematic approach typical of the Enlightenment, rather than a heuristic one ("trial-and-error"), which became feasible after the long-lasting ban on dissecting human corpses was lifted. Valsalva's main interest was exploring the complex structure of the human ear, to which he dedicated a specific treatise, "De Aure Humana". He understood the issues inherent in the imbalance in pressure between outer and inner ear, and found ways how to exploit it to get rid of purulent fluid, by deliberately raising the inside pressure with his maneuver. Time was however not yet ripe to see the broader importance that the Valsalva maneuver would achieve, not just in otorhinolaryngology, but also in cardiology and other fields of medicine. Although Valsalva's name is usually associated his maneuver, his contributions to the history of medicine were broader: he discovered several anatomical parts (i.e. the sinuses of Valsalva), built the basis for the development of pathological anatomy, introduced advances in surgery, promoted a compassionate care of patients affected by mental diseases.
No
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
History; Modern Age; Physiology; Respiratory Physiology
English
Forcieri, S., Beretta, E., Riva, M. (2022). Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723) and the Birth of Experimental Physiology. ADVANCES IN PHYSIOLOGY EDUCATION [10.1152/advan.00126.2022].
Forcieri, S; Beretta, E; Riva, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/391597
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