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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 145

Werner Theodor Otto Forssmann: A nobel laureate

1 Department of Medicine, ESIC Medical College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Cardiology, Rajiv Gandhi Superspeciality Hospital, Raichur, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication18-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Swetha Amaresh Biradar
Department of Medicine, ESIC Medical College, Kalaburagi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AJIM.AJIM_9_19

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How to cite this article:
Biradar SA, Sagarad SV. Werner Theodor Otto Forssmann: A nobel laureate. APIK J Int Med 2019;7:145

How to cite this URL:
Biradar SA, Sagarad SV. Werner Theodor Otto Forssmann: A nobel laureate. APIK J Int Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jul 6];7:145. Available from: http://www.ajim.in/text.asp?2019/7/4/145/269573

Forssmann [Figure 1] was a German physician who shared a prestigious 1956 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Andre Frederic Cournand and Dickinson W Richards. Born on August 29, 1904, Berlin, Germany, he graduated from the University of Berlin in Medicine in 1929.
Figure 1: Werner Frossmann – Nobel Laureate

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His hypothesis was a catheter that could be inserted directly into the heart, for such applications as directly delivering drugs, injecting radiopaque dyes, or measuring blood pressure. In 1929 while working in Eberswalde, he performed the first human cardiac catheterization. He anesthetized his own lower arm in the cubital region and inserted a urinary rubber catheter into his antecubital vein, threading it upward. He Walked to Xray Department one floor below and advanced the catheter 60 cms into right ventricle under the flouroscopic guidance. This was then recorded on X-ray film showing the rubber catheter lying in his right arm.

At the start of World War II, he became a medical officer. In the course of his service, he rose to the rank of Major, until he was captured and put into a US prisoner-of-war camp. Upon his release in 1945, he worked as a lumberjack and then as a country medic in the Black Forest with his wife. In 1950, he began to practice as a Urologist.

His paper was read by Andre Frederic Cournand and Dickinson W Richards.[1] They developed ways of applying his technique to heart disease diagnosis and research. After winning the Nobel Prize, he was given the position of Honorary Professor of Surgery and Urology at the University of Mainz. His son Wolf Forssmann was the first to isolate atrial natriuretic peptide and another son Bernd Forssmann helped to develop first clinical lithotripter.

He wrote Experiments on Myself: Memoirs of a Surgeon in Germany which were published originally in 1974. Forssmann died on June 1, 1979, in Schopfheim, Germany.[2]

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Forsmann W. Die sondierung des rechten Herzens. Klin Wochenschr 1929;8:2085.  Back to cited text no. 1
Forsmann W. Experiments on Myself; Memoirs of a Surgeon in Germany. New York: St Martin's Press; 1974.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure 1]


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