The Austrian physician Josef Leopold Auenbrugger was the son of a wealthy innkeeper who died when Leopold was quite young. He received his medical. Josef Leopold Auenbrugger (–), born in Graz, invented percussion as a diagnostic technique. This skill was initially acquired in testing the level of. Percussion for examination of the chest was first described in in a little book written in Latin as “a new discovery that enables the.

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Listening to the sounds of the body was a irevolutionary advance in the physicians’ ability to make a diagnosis.

Joseph Leopold Auenbrugger–Founder of Percussion Technique.

However, they were both preceded by the Italian physician Giovanni Maria Lanceswho first described percussion of the chest bone. The Austrian physician Josef Leopold Auenbrugger was the son of a wealthy innkeeper who died when Leopold was quite young. He received his suenbrugger education at the University of Vienna, where one of his teachers was Gerhard van Swietenwho, through a series of reforms had made the medical faculty one of the leading in Europe.

He graduated on November 18, Auenbrugger was so strongly influenced by his teacher that he dedicated one of his books to van Swieten. It was a book published in in which Auenbrugger suggests camphor as a treatment for a special form of mania.

From to Auenbrugger worked as assistant physician at the Spanish military Hospital, but did not receive a salary until Because of auenbbrugger work in the hospital, Empress Maria Theresia in ordered the Faculty of Medicine to admit him as a member without charging him any fees.

Joseph Leopold Auenbrugger ()

From to he was chief physician leopild the Spanish Hospital, obtaining experience in diagnosis of chest diseases. It was inwhile he was still working as a volunteer in the hospital, Auenbrugger conceived the method of percussion of the chest in order to be able to judge the condition of the underlying organs auenbruyger the basis of the sound.

In Auenbrugger lopold the libretto for the comic opera Der Rauchfangkehrer by Antonio Salieriand was undoubtedly auenbrugge in developing his diagnostical technique by his musical knowledge, which enabled him to perceive differences in wuenbrugger when the chest was tapped. For seven years he had observed the changes in tone caused by diseases of the lungs or the heart in patients at the Spanish Hospital, checking and controlling his findings by dissections of corpses and by experiments.


He attempted to prove his theories of sound muffling using barrels, which he filled up to various levels, and tapping on bodies he had filled with liquids. In it he describes which sounds are characteristic in different diseases of the chest. If one taps the fingertips on a healthy chest wall, one will perceive a sound like that of a drum. Diseases of the chest cavity change the normal tone of the tapping to sinus altior high or tympanic sounda sonus obscurior indistict soundor a sonus carnis percussae dull sound.

This small book is today reckoned as one of the greatest of classics in medical literature.

Although his discovery was extremely important and today is still auenbeugger basic diagnostic method, it received little attention in the medical world.

Maximilian Stollthen director of the medical clinic at the Spanish Hospital in Vienna, tried the new method and praised it in one of his books. The book was reviewed in several journals, the first mention probably being that of Oliver Goldsmith in the London Public Ledger for August 27, The first Vienna physician to take Auenbrugger’s invention seriously was the anatomist Johann Ludwig Gasserwho tested Auenbrugger’s percussion on corpses auenbrugge confirmed its value.

Leopold Auenbrugger von Auenbrugg | Austrian physician |

Unfortunately, Gasser died before he was able to publish his results. This was done by Michael Julius Ganter in More influential than these positive references, however, was the opinion of Rudolph Augustin Vogelwho could not find anything new in the Inventum novum. He claimed to recognize in it only the successio Hippocratis.

Nevertheless, percussion was used as a diagnostic tool before Heinrich Callisena surgeon in Copenhagen, reported several observations obtained by percussion in his System der Wundarzneikunst ; and the Paris surgeon Raphael Bienvenu Sabatier used it to advantage for the diagnosis of epyema.

That made the difference. The stethoscope is strictly not necessary, as one can hear equally well by resting the head to the patient’s chest. At the time, however, women were not too happy to have their doctor that close to their breast. The times they are a ‘changing. A suprising work from Auenbrugger is a book on “The quiet madness, or the suicidal drive as a real disease”, published in On November 12,Auenbrugger was knighted for his contributions to medicine by the emperor Joseph II.

Biography of Josef Leopold Auenbrugger Listening to the sounds of the body was a irevolutionary advance in the physicians’ ability to make a diagnosis.

Half a year later leopkld published a book on lung diseases in the workers of the stone quarries. Bibliography Inventum novum ex percussione thoracis humani ut signo abstrusos interni pectoris morbos detegendi.


Trattner, First German translation in Vienna, French annotated translation by Jean-Nicolas Corvisart: English translation by John Forbes: Selected from Auenbrugger, Corvisart, Laennec and Others. Inventum novum was reprinted in: Keys, Cardiac Classics, Auenbruggre.

Louis, Missouri,pp. It also appears, with an introduction by Henry E.

Sigerist, in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Baltimore,4: Fascimile reprint by Max Neuburger Vienna-Leipzig, includes the original edition, and translations into English, French and German. Other works by Auenbrugger: Experimentum nascens de remedio specifico sub signo specifico in mania virorum. Suggesting camphor as a treatment for a special form of mania. Heilart der epidemischen Ruhr. English translation, ; reproduced German translation, ; Also by Friedrich Ludwig Meissner under the title of Abhandlung von den Krankheiten der Lungen und des Herzens und der mittelbaren Auscultation als eines Mittels zu ihrer Erkennung, Leipzig, On Auenbrugger and his work: A List of Papers, etc.

Medical History,5: A bibliography listing all important works pertinent to the subject with short critical remarks that facilitate orientation. His “Inventum norvum” — Circulation, Dallas, Texas, Sobre la vicisitud creadora — Auenbrugger y Morgagni frente a frente. Anales chilenos de historia de la medicina,5: Auenbrugger, Corvisart et les origines de la percussion.

Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift, Leopold Auenbrugger and the “Inventum novum. The “Inventum novum” of Joseph Leopold Auenbrugger. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, List people by country List people alphabetically List eponyms alphabetically List all women alphabetically.

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Josef Leopold Auenbrugger

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