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September 1989

Alexis Carrel: A Century Later

Author Affiliations

Albuquerque, NM

Arch Surg. 1989;124(9):1014. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410090020002

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Alexis Carrel, MD, at the beginning of this century, performed numerous original experiments, first with Charles Guthrie at the University of Chicago (Ill) between 1904 and 1906 and at the Rockefeller Institute in New York, NY, between 1906 and 1914. For the first time, an animal laboratory was established where dogs could be operated on with aseptic surgical technique, thus reducing infection. Vascular anastamosis was technically improved, veins were shown to function as arterial substitutes, limbs were reimplanted, and kidneys and hearts were transplanted and shown to function for a short time (rejection was not understood at the time).

At the Rockefeller Institute, arterial segments from animals of the same or different species, preserved in several ways, were shown to function as arterial conduits in dogs. Carrel was among the first to use endotracheal oxygenation to allow intrathoracic operations on the lungs, esophagus, and heart. In 1910 he performed a

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