Sponsors   Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog prepared by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History 
Henry Koplik, MD
Henry Koplik, MD
(1858 -1927) 

American pediatrician and researcher, was born in 1858 in the city of New York.  He received his MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Colombia University in New York. He spent several years studying in Berlin, Vienna, and Prague. Upon his return to the US he worked at the lower Manhattan Good Samaritan dispensary, where he later built a large pediatric outpatient clinic which became a model for the care of infants and children. In fact, under Dr Koplik's direction, this clinic became the world's first "milk depot" providing fresh milk and infant food for underprivileged mothers in the area. Dr. Koplik was one of the founders of the American Pediatric Society, and was one of its presidents.

Mostly remembered by the pathognomonic and eponymic "Koplik's spots", Dr Koplik had many other achievements. Some of them include the prophylaxis of a milk depot, the strict discipline in diagnosis and care of the pediatric patient,  the discovery of the bacillus responsible for whooping cough, the prevention of cross-contamination at a pediatric ward, etc.

Dr. Koplik wrote a number of clinical and research papers on hygiene and public health, as well on a number of medical topics, plus a book on "Diseases of Infancy and Childhood". 

Sources:
1. "Koplik's Spots for the Record: an Illustrated Historical Note" Brem, J; Clin Ped 1972 11:3 161-163
2. "Pediatric Profiles: Henry Koplik (1858-1927)" Bass, MH J Ped 1957 119-125
3. "The History of the First Milk Depot or Gouttes de Lait With Consultations in America" JAMA 50: 1574, 1914.
4. "Some Pediatric Eponyms: Koplik's Spots," W. R. Bett Brit. J. Child.Dis. 28: 127, 1931 
Original image courtesy of National Institutes of Health.


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Corona Mortis

Important for inguinal hernia anatomy and surgery, this term is Latin from [corona] meaning "crown' and [mortis] meaning "death'; the "crown or circle of death". The corona mortis (blue arrow) refers to an anatomical variation1, a vascular anastomosis between the obturator and the external iliac vascular systems that passes over Cooper's pectineal ligament and posterior to the lacunar (Gimbernat's) ligament. 

In some cases, the corona mortis is the actual obturator artery that arises from the inferior epigastric artery instead of the internal iliac artery. It can also arise from the external iliac artery. In both cases, it has been called an "aberrant obturator artery". This could be a misnomer, as this anatomical variation can be present in up to 25% of the cases. When present, the corona mortis  can be injured when a surgeon looks to enlarge the femoral ring by opening the lacunar ligament. This vascular structure could even be endangered in a laparoscopic procedure for inguinal of femoral hernia repair and a staple or tack is driven blindly into the pectineal (Cooper's) ligament.

Corona Mortis (A)Image property of: CAA.Inc.Artist: M. Zuptich

Berberoglu states that "although these tiny anastomoses... have been described in classical anatomy textbooks, these texts neglect to mention that theses anastomoses can be life-threatening".

In some rare cases, the corona mortis (aberrant obturator artery) coexists with the normal obturator artery.  Although called a [corona], this anatomical structure is an incomplete circle. In the image, the [corona mortis] is labeled "A".

Sources:
1. Rusu et al: "Anatomical considerations on the corona mortis" Surg Radiol Anat (2010) 32:17–24
2. Berberoglu et al: "An anatomic study in seven cadavers and an endoscopic study in 28 patients" Surg Endosc (2001) 15:72-75