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Giulio Cesare Aranzio (Arantius)

Giulio Cesare Aranzio
(Arantius)

(1530 -1589)   

Italian surgeon and anatomist. Born in Bologna, Giulio Cesare Aranzio is better known by the Latinized version of his name Julius Caesar Arantius. His Italian last name is sometimes spelled Aranzi.

Born in a poor family, Aranzio began his medical studies under the tutelage of his uncle, Bartolommeo Maggi (1477 – 1552), studied medicine at the University of Bologna where he graduated MD in 1556. The same year he became a Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the in 1556. Arantius was the first lecturer at the University of Bologna to hold a separate professorship of anatomy. Before him, the University would allow any surgeon to perform dissection and lectures.

Arantius had several publications that include:

Observationes Anatomicas (Anatomical Observations)
De Humano Foetu  Opusculum (On the Human Fetus)
De Tumoribus Secundum Locos Affectos (Tumors according to the affected places)
Hippocratis librum de vulneribus capitis commentarius brevis (Short commentary on Hippocrates’ book on head wounds)

Arantius was the first to describe the foramen ovale (fossa ovalis) and the ductus arteriosus, discoveries that were later erroneously ascribed to Leonardo Bottalus (Botal). He also described the nodules in the leaflets of the aortic valve that today bear his name (nodules of Arantius) which he described as being “cartilaginous” in nature. This is not as farfetched as it seems as these nodules can become hypertrophic and harden with age. Arantius was also the first to describe the hippocampus, a formation on the brain associated with the limbic system, mood disorders, and depression.

Arantius was a consummate anatomist and a great surgeon. Apparently he treated nasal polyps, performed nasal reconstructions and a number of surgeries ahead of his time. One of his great anatomical observations was that the blood in the heart did not pass through “invisible pores” in the interventricular septum, but rather exits the heart through the pulmonary trunk, setting the stage for the discovery of circulation by William Harvey (1578 – 1609) We have not been able to find a portrait of Arantius and the only reference is a photograph of a bust with the name “Aranzio” located at the Medical Society in Bologna (Gurunluoglu, 2011)

Sources:
1. “Giulio Cesare Arantius (1530-1589): a surgeon and anatomist: his role in nasal reconstruction and influence on Gaspare Tagliacozzi” . Gurunluoglu R, Gurunluoglu A Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Jun;60(6):717-22
2. “Giulio Cesare Aranzio (Arantius) (1530-89) in the pageant of anatomy and surgery” Gurunluoglu R, Shafighi M, Gurunluoglu A, Cavdar S. J Med Biogr. 2011 May;19(2):63-9
3. “Hippocampus – Why is it studied so frequently?”Radonjic, V. et al Vojnosanit Pregl 2014; 71(2): 195–201
4: “The history of Bolngna University's Medical School over the centuries, A Short Review” Moroni, P. Acta Dermatoven APA Vol 9, 2000, No 2 73-75


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Ligament of Treitz

The ligament of Treitz is a fold of peritoneum over the suspensory muscle of the duodenum. This muscle is also known as the "muscle of Treitz" or "musculus suspensorius duodenii". This muscle was first described in 1853 by Dr. Václav Treitz. 

The muscle has an unusual in structure in that it is formed by a tendon with two muscular ends (see image #1) of dissimilar embryological origin and function. The superior muscular component is skeletal (voluntary) muscle and arises as a slip of muscle (Hilfsmuskel) from the right esophageal crus of the respiratory diaphragm, as well as muscular and ligamentous fibers arising in the region of origin of the celiac trunk and superior mesenteric artery. The inferior portion of the muscle is smooth (involuntary) muscle and has been described as continuous with both the longitudinal and circular muscle layer of the intestine at the duodenojejunal junction.

The ligament of Treitz is an anatomical landmark used by anatomists and surgeons to denote the duodenojejunal junction and the point where the small intestine passes from retroperitoneal duodenum to intraperitoneal jeunum. Surgeons use the ligament of Treitz to measure the jejunum to decide where to perform an anastomosis.

Suspensory muscle of the duodenum 1. skeletal muscle 2. tendon 3. smooth muscle
Click on the image for a larger version
Original image by Dr. Vaclav Treitz
Click on the gray bar below the image to see the original sketch published by Dr. Václav Treitz in his 1853 publication "Ueber einen neuen Muskel am Duodenum des Menschens" (On a new muscle in the duodenum of man). The 'muscle of Treitz" is marked by an arrow.

Clinical anatomy, pathology, and surgery of the gastrointestinal tract are some of the many lecture topics developed and delivered to the medical devices industry by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc.

Sources:
1.
"Clinically Oriented Anatomy" Moore, KL. 3r Ed. Williams & Wilkins 1992
2. "The origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, AH, 1970
3. "The suspensory muscle of the duodenum and its nerve supply" Jit, I.; Singh, S. J. Anat. (1977), 123, 2, pp. 397-405
4. "Anatomical and functional aspects of the human suspensory muscle of the duodenum." Costacurta, L. Acta Anat (Basel). 1972;82(1):34-46
Image property of:CAA.Inc. Artists:Dr. E. Miranda and D.M. Klein