Title

Fedor Krause: the first systematic use of X-rays in neurosurgery

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Within a few months of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen's discovery of x-rays in 1895, Fedor Krause acquired an x-ray apparatus and began to use it in his daily interactions with patients and for diagnosis. He was the first neurosurgeon to use x-rays methodically and systematically. In 1908 Krause published the first volume of text on neurosurgery, Chirurgie des Gehirns und Rückenmarks (Surgery of the Brain and Spinal Cord), which was translated into English in 1909. The second volume followed in 1911. This was the first published multivolume text totally devoted to neurosurgery. Although Krause excelled in and promoted neurosurgery, he believed that surgeons should excel at general surgery. Importantly, Krause was inclined to adopt technology that he believed could be helpful in surgery. His 1908 text was the first neurosurgical text to contain a specific chapter on x-rays ("Radiographie") that showed roentgenograms of neurosurgical procedures and pathology. After the revolutionary discovery of x-rays by Röntgen, many prominent neurosurgeons seemed pessimistic about the use of x-rays for anything more than trauma or fractures. Krause immediately seized on its use to guide and monitor ventricular drainage and especially for the diagnosis of tumors of the skull base. The x-ray images contained in Krause's "Radiographie" chapter provide a seminal view into the adoption of new technology and the development of neurosurgical technique and are part of neurosurgery's heritage.

Medical Subject Headings

History, 19th Century; History, 20th Century; Humans; Medicine in Literature; Neurosurgery (history); Radiography (history); Technology, Radiologic (history)

Publication Date

8-1-2012

Publication Title

Neurosurgical focus

E-ISSN

1092-0684

Volume

33

Issue

2

First Page

E4

PubMed ID

22853835

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.3171/2012.6.FOCUS12135

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