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September 25, 1926


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric and Surgical Departments of the Michael Reese Hospital.

JAMA. 1926;87(13):991-996. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680130005002

The father of Johann Friedrich Meckel (1781-1833) of Halle was a distinguished professor of anatomy and surgery as well as a medical editor. Meckel's grandfather, Johann Friedrich the elder, published a noteworthy dissertation on the fifth nerve (Meckel's ganglion). He was professor of anatomy, obstetrics and botany in Berlin (1751). The younger Meckel consequently came from a distinguished line of anatomists, and he himself was an eminent pathologist. Garrison says of him that he was the greatest comparative anatomist of Germany before Johannes Müller. He has been called the German Cuvier. He published treatises on pathologic anatomy, normal human anatomy and comparative anatomy, and he was the discoverer of the Meckel's diverticulum of the intestines, though Littré observed the diverticulum in a hernia in 1770, and it was familiar to Ruysch, who illustrated it in 1701. Meckel, however, described its anatomic origin. He recognized it as the omphalomesenteric or vitelline

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