November 1924


Author Affiliations

Resident Surgeon, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital BOSTON
From the Laboratory of Surgical Research, Harvard Medical School, and the Hunterian Laboratory of Experimental Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1924;9(3):822-836. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1924.01120090339015

In 1890, Harris H. Branham1 of Brunswick, Georgia, described an aneurysmal varix of the femoral vessels following a gunshot wound, and concluded his article with this comment:

The most mysterious phenomenon connected with the case, one which I have not been able to explain myself or to obtain a satisfactory reason for from others, was slowing of the heart's beat when compression of the common femoral was employed.... This began to be noticeable after the wound had entirely healed and became more marked until pressure of the artery above the wound caused the heart's beat to fall from 80 to 35 or 40 per minute, and so to remain until the pressure was relieved. Compression of the artery of the sound limb produced no such effect. Attending the slowing of the heart was a slight dizziness and some dyspnea. Examination of the heart showed it to be free from

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