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February 23, 1970

Abel Ayerza (1861-1918): "Black Cardiacs"

JAMA. 1970;211(8):1370-1371. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170080058016

Ayerza's syndrome, one of the few familiar eponymic terms honoring a South American clinician, lacks a published communication by the original observer. This deficiency is one of several items which surrounds the inexactness of the clinicopathological description. In 1901, Abel Ayerza studied a case of intractable dusky cyanosis which showed extensive sclerosis of the pulmonary vessels on postmortem examination. His observations, reported verbally at the time, were duly recorded and published in detail by his pupil Arrillaga1 a decade later. In the meantime, Marty associated the cardinal features of the unusual protocol with Ayerza's name.2

Ayerza, son of a physician, was born in Buenos Aires, received his secondary education in Colegio del Salvador, studied humanities, and obtained his bachelor's degree at the Jesuit College of San José In 1880, he registered in the Faculty of Medicine in the National University of Buenos Aires.3 Ayerza served as an