Document Detail


Empress Sissi and cardiac tamponade: an historical perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18949866     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
On September 10, 1898, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as Sissi, was stabbed with a stiletto knife in her chest by an Italian anarchist in Geneva, Switzerland, and died 1 hour later. The autopsy revealed a large clot in the pericardial sac due to a perforation of the left ventricular wall, and the report concluded, "Death was undoubtedly caused by a progressive and slow blood leak, sufficient to compress the heart and to suspend its functions." Since antiquity, wounds of the heart had been considered immediately fatal, until Paré observed a delayed death after a stab to the heart in the 16th century. The physiology of cardiac tamponade was then elucidated by Richard Lower in 1669. However, it was only in the 19th century that the main clinical features of cardiac tamponade were described and the first treatments attempted. Kussmaul identified its most important clinical hallmark, pulsus paradoxus, in 1873 and the term "tamponade of the heart" was coined for the first time by Rose in 1884. Romero and Larrey pioneered the open drainage of the pericardium early in the century, and Rehn performed the first successful surgical suture of a heart wound in 1896. In conclusion, logistics aside, medical knowledge at the end of the 19th century would have been theoretically sufficient to save the empress from death.
Authors:
Philippe Meyer; Pierre-Frédéric Keller; David H Spodick
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of cardiology     Volume:  102     ISSN:  1879-1913     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Cardiol.     Publication Date:  2008 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-24     Completed Date:  2009-01-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0207277     Medline TA:  Am J Cardiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1278-80     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Affiliation:
Cardiology Division, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. philippe.meyer@hcuge.ch
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Cardiac Tamponade / etiology,  history*,  therapy
Female
Heart Injuries / complications,  history
History, 16th Century
History, 17th Century
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
History, Ancient
Humans
Male
Pericardial Effusion / complications,  history
Wounds, Stab / complications,  history
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
Empress Elizabeth of Austria

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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