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Cruveilhier's legacy to skull base surgery: premise of an evidence-based neuropathology in the 19th century.

By M. Berhouma, J. Dubourg and M. Messerer


OBJECTIVES: Jean Cruveilhier has always been described as a pioneer in pathological anatomy. Almost nothing has been reported concerning his exceptional methodology allying pre-mortem clinical description and syndromic classification of neurological and neurosurgical diseases, and post-mortem meticulous dissections. Cruveilhier's methodology announced the birth of the anatomoclinical method built up by Jean-Martin Charcot and the neurological French school during the 19th century. The aim of our work is to extract the quintessence of Cruveilhier's contributions to skull base pathology through his cogent clinical descriptions coupled with exceptional lithographs of anterior skull base, suprasellar and cerebello-pontine angle tumors. METHODS: We reviewed the masterwork of Jean Cruveilhier on pathological anatomy and we selected the chapters dedicated to central nervous system pathologies, mainly skull base diseases. A systematic review was performed on Pubmed/Medline and Google Scholar using the keywords "Jean Cruveilhier", "Skull base pathology", "Anatomoclinical method". RESULTS: Among his descriptions, Cruveilhier dedicated large chapters to neurosurgical diseases including brain tumors, cerebrovascular pathologies, malformations of the central nervous system, hydrocephalus, brain infections and spinal cord compressions. CONCLUSION: This work emphasizes on the role of Jean Cruveilhier in the birth of the anatomoclinical method particularly in neuroscience during a 19th century rich of epistemological evolutions toward an evidence-based medicine, through the prism of Cruveilhier's contribution to skull base pathology

Topics: Brain Neoplasms/pathology; Evidence-Based Medicine/history; History, 19th Century; Humans; Neurology/history; Neurosurgery/history; Skull Base/pathology; Skull Base/surgery
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2012.08.005
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