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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Our patient also had a Morgagni hernia. This is an anterior right-sided defect of the diaphragm.
A Morgagni hernia (black star) can be seen, and the right atrium (asterisk) and inferior vena cava (arrowhead) are displaced on the ventral side.
Computed tomography (CT) scan revealed occlusion of the inferior mesenteric artery and strangulated intestinal segments in the pouch of morgagni hernia (Figures 1, 2).
In this case, presentation and location of PADF was typical, but concomitant clinical entities such as acute mesenteric ischemia and strangulated morgagni hernia might hinder the preoperative diagnosis of PADF.
Morgagni hernia was first described by Giovanni Battista Morgagni in 1769 while he was performing autopsy on a patient who died from head injuries (5).
In the past, the incidence of Morgagni hernia was higher in young male patients than in female patients.
When this occurs, it is referred to as a Morgagni hernia regardless of laterality [2,7].
Our patient presented with a rare bilateral Morgagni hernia. This presentation only makes up 2% of all Morgagni hernias.
Our patient was found to have a Morgagni hernia, which comprises only 2-3% of all diaphragmatic hernias.3 Hernias through the foramen of Morgagni are not usually diagnosed until adulthood.
Morgagni hernia: unique presentations in elderly patients.
A Morgagni hernia is mostly discovered incidentally, but is more symptomatic in children with a risk of incarceration and strangulation.