Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke

Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke

German general practitioner and surgeon
Date of Birth: 26.08.1842
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke
  2. Education and Early Career
  3. Professorship and Contributions
  4. Research and Discoveries

Biography of Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke

Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke was a German physician, therapist, and surgeon who made numerous discoveries and innovations in the field of medicine. He was born into a family of renowned German physicians, with his father being the well-known physician Hermann Quincke. Quincke's older brother, Georg Hermann Quincke, was a physicist.

Education and Early Career

Quincke studied at Heidelberg, Würzburg, and Berlin Universities. In 1863, he obtained his doctorate degree from the University of Berlin. His teachers included famous physicians and scientists such as Rudolf Virchow and Albert von Kölliker. In 1865, Quincke worked under the physiologist Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke at the University of Vienna. In 1866, he became an assistant to the surgeon Robert Ferdinand Wilms. He also served as an assistant in therapy under Friedrich Freyhris at the Charité clinic until 1870.

Professorship and Contributions

In 1873, Quincke became a professor of medicine (therapy) at the University of Bern. Five years later, he moved to the University of Kiel. In 1908, he retired with the honorary title of professor. Quincke was the first to perform lumbar puncture in 1890. Although he initially used the procedure for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, his research laid the foundation for the development of spinal anesthesia in the future.

Research and Discoveries

Quincke was the first to study cerebrospinal fluid, determining its composition, specific gravity, and characteristics in cases of purulent meningitis. In 1879, he described gastroesophageal reflux, peptic esophageal ulcer, and reflux esophagitis as separate diseases. In 1882, he proposed the peptic theory of gastric ulcer development, which suggested that the main cause of gastric ulcers is hydrochloric acid. According to his theory, the higher the concentration of acid in gastric juice, the more frequent the occurrence of ulcers.

In the same year, Quincke studied acute angioedema of the skin, which was later named Quincke's edema. He also introduced the Quincke position, which involves elevating the patient's legs above their head while in bed.

Quincke's edema is an inherited or allergic disease characterized by recurrent edema of the skin, subcutaneous tissue, or mucous membranes.

Quincke's pulse (Quincke's sign) refers to the nail capillary pulse. It is a rhythmic, synchronous change in the color of the nail bed that indicates aortic valve insufficiency.

Overall, Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke's contributions to medicine have had a lasting impact on various fields, from anesthesia to the understanding of gastric ulcers and other medical conditions.