Discovery of the cardiovascular system: from Galen to William Harvey

  title={Discovery of the cardiovascular system: from Galen to William Harvey},
  author={William C. Aird},
  journal={Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis},
  • W. Aird
  • Published 1 July 2011
  • Medicine
  • Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
The goal of this review is to examine the events that led to discovery of blood circulation. [] Key Method Harvey employed experiment and deductive logic to show that arteries and veins are functionally, if not structurally, connected in the lung and the peripheral tissues, and that blood circulates. The mechanical force of the heart replaced Galen's elusive attractive powers. Ultimately, Galenism would collapse under the weight of Harvey's evidence, and a new paradigm of blood circulation would prevail.
The Physiology of Oxygen Transport by the Cardiovascular System: Evolution of Knowledge.
Major research achievements contributing to the evolution of knowledge related to O2 transport are described, including the discovery of the systemic and pulmonary circulations, hemoglobin within red blood cells and its ability to bind O2, and diffusion of O2 from the capillary as the final step in its delivery to tissue.
History of the Vascular System
Galen showed that arteries and veins both contained blood but of different qualities, and blood had its origin in the liver, passed from the right to the left heart to reach the major blood vessels to be transported to the various tissues, and finally was transformed into flesh.
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The Road to Unearthing the Conducting System of the Heart
This chapter discusses the ultimate discovery of the origin of the heartbeat and the conducting system by anatomists and pathophysiologists: Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Wilhelm His, Jr, Walter Gaskell, Sunao Tawara, and Arthur Keith.
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A new evidence on pulmonary circulation discovery: A text of Ibn Luqa (860-912 AD).
The history of pulmonary circulation discovery has been long-time debated. For centuries, William Harvey (1578–1657) was reported as the first scholar who described pulmonary circulation mechanism in


On the motion of the heart and blood in animals (Willis's trans., rev. and edited).
It is only consonant with reason to conclude that in the course of the half hour hinted at, so much as has escaped has also passed from the great veins through the heart into the aorta.
William Harvey, a conventional medical revolutionary.
In 1637, Raffaello Magiotti wrote from Rome to Florence to inform his friends, including the aged Galileo, of a physiological discovery about which he had recently learned, and concluded: This is the circulation which the blood traverses within us.
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    The Mount Sinai journal of medicine, New York
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Controversy over the circulation theory of William Harvey is important because it helped establish use of the scientific method.
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It is shown that at the time the impact of Harvey's discovery was negative on clinical medicine and its theory, but also shows ways in which that impact was favourable.
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