September 1913


Am J Dis Child. 1913;VI(3):145-161. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1913.04100330003001

HISTORICAL Vesalius was the first to describe the pituitary, and in his "De Corporis Humani Fabrica" he named it the "glans pituitam excipiens"; he believed that this gland secreted the nasal mucus [ill] phlegm). However, Galen many years before him knew of this gland, and judging from its well protected location, thought it was of great importance to the human economy. In 1778, Soemmering described it more fully and called it the "hypophysis cerebri." Both Vesalius and Soemmering were of the opinion that the pituitary is a gland; but as they could not find any duct, they considered it a part of the nervous system. Wepfer, Bonnet (1679) and Morgagni found colloid cysts in the pituitary, and Greding (1771) and Melcrave observed and described enlargements of the pituitary. Wenzel claimed that diseases of the pituitary may cause epilepsy; and in the light of present knowledge this is true; for many