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Jean Cruveilhier

Léon Jean Baptiste Cruveilhier (born 1791 in Limoges, France; died 1874 in Jussac) was a French anatomist.

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He was educated at the University of Paris, where in 1825 he succeeded Pierre Augustin Béclard (1785-1825) as professor of anatomy. In 1836 he relinquished the chair of anatomy to Gilbert Breschet (1784-1845), and became the first occupant of the recently founded chair of pathological anatomy. Puerto Rican pro-independence leader, surgeon and Légion d'honneur laureate, Ramón Emeterio Betances, was one of his prominent students. [1]

Cruveilhier was a highly influential anatomist during the mid-19th century, and is known for his work regarding the nervous system. He described the pathology of the neuronal lesions observed in multiple sclerosis, and published his findings and illustrations in 1842. He was also the first to record the clinical history of a patient who had the disease. However, it wasn't until 1868 that multiple sclerosis was discovered by neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot to be a distinct, separate disease.

He also performed extensive studies on inflammation of blood vessels, particularly phlebitis. Cruveilhier believed that phlebitis was the cause of most diseases, however this postulation was later disproved by Rudolf Virchow. Cruveilhier was a prolific writer, among his works were Anatomie pathologique du corps humain (1829-1842) and Life of Dupuytren (1840), which was a memorial to his teacher, Guillaume Dupuytren.

His name is associated with "Cruveilhier's sign" (persistent hypertension and occlusion of the portal vein) and "Cruveilhier-Baumgarten disease" (cirrhosis of the liver without ascites), which is named along with anatomist Paul Clemens von Baumgarten. Cruveilhier's name is also associated with several eponymous parts of the anatomy, however these terms have largely been replaced by clinical nomenclature:

  • Cruveilhier's fossa: scaphoid fossa
  • Cruveilhier's fascia: superficial fascia of perineum
  • Cruveilhier's joint: median atlanto-axial joint
  • Cruveilhier's plexus: posterior cervical plexus

Written Works

  • Anatomie descriptive (1834-1836)
  • Anatomie pathologique du corps humain (1829-1842), with over 200 copper plates illustrated by Antoine Chazal (1793-1854).
  • Trait d'anatomie pathologique génerale (1849-1864)
  • Anatomie du système nerveux de l'homme (1845)
  • Traite d'anatomie descriptive (1851)


  • Dr Léon Delhoume, L' École de Dupuytren - Jean Cruveilhier. Paris 1937
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Léon Jean Baptiste Cruveilhier @ Who Named It
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jean_Cruveilhier". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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