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Chapter 1: A History of the Cardiac Diseases, and the Development of Cardiovascular Medicine as a Specialty

All of the following were experimental questions asked by William Harvey except:

A. What is the relationship of the motion of the auricle to the ventricle?

B. Do the arteries distend because of the propulsive force of the heart?

C. What purpose is served by the orientation of the cardiac and venous valves?

D. How much blood is present, and how long does its passage take?

E. All were questions asked by William Harvey

The answer is E. (Hurst’s the Heart, 14th Edition, Chap. 1) Starting in 1603, Harvey dissected the anatomy and observed the motion of the cardiac chambers and the flow of blood in more than 80 species of animals. His experimental questions “to seek unbiased truth” can be summarized in the following questions: What is the relationship of the motion of the auricle to the ventricle? Which is the systolic and which is the diastolic motion of the heart? Do the arteries distend because of the propulsive force of the heart? What purpose is served by the orientation of the cardiac and venous valves? How does blood travel from the right ventricle to the left side of the heart? Which direction does the blood flow in the veins and the arteries? How much blood is present, and how long does its passage take? After many experiments and without knowledge of the capillary circulation of the lungs, which was not known until 1661, Harvey stated, “It must of necessity be concluded that the blood is driven into a round by a circular motion and that it moves perpetually; and hence does arise the action or function of the heart, which by pulsation it performs.” This was published in 1628 as Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus.1 This revolutionary concept eventually became accepted in Harvey’s lifetime and remains the foundation of our understanding of the purpose of the heart.

What were the primary component(s) of the clinical examination until the 17th century?

A. Palpating the pulse

B. Palpating the pulse and inspecting the urine

C. Palpating the pulse and percussion

D. Palpating the pulse and auscultation

E. Palpating the pulse, percussion, and auscultation

The answer is B. (Hurst’s the Heart, 14th Edition, Chap. 1) Until the 17th century, the clinical examination consisted of palpating the pulse and inspecting ...

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