Giovanni Battista Morgagni

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Morgagni, Giovanni Battista

(jōvän`nē bät–tēs`tä mōrgä`nyē), 1682–1771, Italian anatomist, called the founder of pathologic anatomy. He was professor of anatomy at Padua for 56 years. A meticulous observer and recorder, he contributed classical descriptions of anatomical parts (many of which are named for him), collected case histories, and carried out exhaustive postmortem examinations, as a result of which he discovered many relationships between diseases and physiological changes.

Morgagni, Giovanni Battista


Born Feb. 25, 1682, in Forli; died Dec. 5, 1771, in Padua. Italian physician and anatomist.

In 1706, Morgagni became a professor of practical medicine at the University of Bologna; in 1711 he went to teach at the University of Padua. As a result of his numerous observations and the data obtained from the dissection of human cadavers, Morgagni published his classic work The Seats and Causes of Disease Investigated by Anatomy (1761, vols. 1—2), in which he laid the foundation for pathological anatomy as an independent medical science. This work was of great significance for the development of clinical medicine and for the clarification of the pathogenesis and symptomatology of a number of diseases.

Morgagni’s contributions to anatomy included the first description of such anatomical formations in humans as the rectal columns (folds in the rectal mucosa), the laryngeal sinuses (depressions on the lateral walls of the larynx), and the appendices testes and the appendices vesiculosi epoophori; all these anatomical parts are named after him.

Morgagni was the author of several works on physiology and archaeology.


Zabludovskii, P. E. “Dva veka patologicheskoi anatomii: K 200-letiiu vykhoda knigi Dzh. B. Morgan’i.” Klinicheskaia meditsina, 1962, no. 4.


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