Willem Einthoven

(redirected from Einthoven, Willem)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

Einthoven, Willem

Einthoven, Willem (vĭlˈəm īntˈhōvən), 1860–1927, Dutch physiologist, b. Java, M.D. Univ. of Utrecht, 1885. He was professor at the Univ. of Leiden from 1886. To measure the electric currents developed by the heart, he invented a string galvanometer and with its aid produced the electrocardiogram (EKG), a graphic record of the action of the heart. For this he received the 1924 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Einthoven, Willem


Born May 21, 1860, in Samarang, Java; died Sept. 29, 1927, in Leiden, The Netherlands. Dutch physiologist.

Einthoven, upon graduating from the University of Utrecht in 1885, became a professor of physiology at the University of Leiden. His works dealt mainly with electrophysiology. By analyzing electrocardiograms mathematically, Einthoven interpreted the electrical reactions of the heart with unprecedented accuracy. He made a fundamental contribution to clinical electrocardiography in 1903 by devising a string galvanometer.

Einthoven conceived the idea of recording heart currents from three leads, and suggested the use of a triangle to illustrate change in the height of electrocardiographic waves and their interaction in relation to the recording method; he provided a physiological explanation for every wave and interval on the EKG. Einthoven also invented vectorcardiography in 1913. He was one of the first to do research in neuroelectrophysiology. He detected impulses in the depressor nerve and recorded impulses in the pathways of the sympathetic nerves.

Einthoven was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1924.


“Neues Galvanometer.” Annalen der Physik, 1903, vol. 12.
Über die Deutung des Elektrokardiogramms.” Pflügers Archiv für die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere, 1913, vol. 149.
“Das Saitengalvanometer und die Messung der Aktionsströme des Herzens.” In Les Prix Nobel en 1924–1925. Stockholm, 1926.


Samoilov, A. F. “Vospominaniia o professore Vil’ger’me Eintkhovene.” In Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Wenckebach (Wien). W. “Einthoven.” Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, 1927, vol. 53, no. 51, p. 2176.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?