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Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804–78)
  1. M K DAVIES,
  2. A HOLLMAN

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    This Austrian stamp is part of the Welfare Funds issue from 1937 featuring famous Austrian doctors. Other stamps in the set of nine feature among others Auenbrugger, Skoda, van Swieten, and Billroth. Rokitansky appeared on Austrian postage stamps again in 1954 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

     Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky was professor of pathological anatomy at Vienna and with Joseph Skoda was a founder of the New Vienna School. Not only was he the leading figure in pathological anatomy in Europe but he also made significant contributions to the understanding of congenital heart disease. In his illustrated book of 1875, Die Defecte der Scheidewande des Herzens, he gave accurate details of the anatomy of atrial and ventricular septal defects and was the first to delineate the differences between ostium primum and ostium secundum atrial septal defects.

     He believed that abnormalities in the chemical constitution of the blood were the pathological basis for disease and he developed the thrombogenic or encrustation theory for atherosclerosis.

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