Rokitansky, Karl

Rokitansky, Karl

(kärl rōkĭtän`skē), 1804–78, Austrian pathologist, b. Bohemia. From 1834 to 1873 he taught pathological anatomy at the Univ. of Vienna. He performed over 30,000 autopsies and out of his observations and deductions made many valuable contributions, including treatises on diseases of the arteries and on defects of the septum of the heart. He wrote A Manual of Pathological Anatomy (3 vol., 1842–46; tr., 4 vol., 1849–54).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rokitansky, Karl


Born Feb. 19, 1804, in Königgrätz, Bohemia, now Hradec Králové, in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic; died July 23, 1878, in Vienna. Austrian physician of Czech descent. Member (1848) and president (from 1869) of the Vienna Academy of Sciences; member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1870).

Rokitansky studied at the universities of Prague and Vienna. From 1834 to 1875 he was a professor of pathological anatomy at the University of Vienna and prosector at a municipal hospital. In 1844 he organized the first independent chair of pathological anatomy with a museum of specimens in Vienna.

Rokitansky was a prominent representative of descriptive pathological anatomy, which is closely associated with clinical practice. He morphologically described gastric-ulcer perforation, intestinal strangulation, spontaneous ruptures of the aorta, and congenital defects of the septa of the heart. As a theorist, Rokitansky was a humoral pathologist, believing that dyscra-sia, which is the disruption and improper combination of the chemical composition of body fluids, was the cause of a number of diseases.


Die Defecte der Scheidewände des Herzens. Vienna, 1875.
In Russian translation:
Rukovodstvo k patologicheskoi anatomii, parts 1–3. Moscow, 1844–49.


Vail’, S. S. “Gumoral’naia patologiia Rokitanskogo (K 100-letiiu ego Rukovodstva patologicheskoi anatomii.)” In Sovetskii vrachebnyi sbornik, fasc. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Vail’, S. S. “R. Virkhovi K. Rokitanskii.” Arkiv patologii, 1971, vol. 33, no. 9.


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