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April 1987

Cerebral Congestion: A Vanished Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Lubbock.

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(4):444-448. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520160074018

• The concept of "cerebral congestion" as a cause of apoplexy was first proposed by Morgagni in 1761, and had a profound influence in the treatment of stroke during the next 150 years. It accounted not only for cerebral hemorrhage, but also for lacunes (Dechambre, 1838), état criblé (Durand-Fardel, 1842), depression, maniac outbursts, headaches, coma, and seizures. According to Hammond (1871, 1878), cerebral congestion was "more common... than any other affection of the nervous system." This notion fell into oblivion when an accurate method for bedside determination of blood pressure became available (Riva-Rocci, 1896; Korotkov, 1905) allowing for better understanding of the neurologic complications of arterial hypertension.

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