A historical overview of cardiovascular medicine and heart failure

Cyprian V. Weaver, Daniel J. Garry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Judging by artifacts ranging from writings on papyrus to cave etchings and paintings from the Paleolithic Era, it is clear that the heart has always been a source of fascination, speculation, and reverence for its importance to human life. Theories and knowledge of the circulatory system evolved from the time of Aristotle and Hippocrates to Galen, Erasistratus, al-Nafis, Colombo, Harvey, and other physicians, anatomists, and professors. Even Leonardo da Vinci is recognized for his knowledge of the heart's features and function. This chapter provides a historical perspective, observations, and theories from multiple cultures about the process of cardiovascular circulation. This progression of thought and research has laid the groundwork for and is similar to the continuing developments in therapies to treat cardiovascular problems, including heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCongestive Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation
Subtitle of host publicationClinical, Pathology, Imaging and Molecular Profiles
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319445779
ISBN (Print)9783319445755
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Discovery of circulation
  • Erasistratus
  • Galen
  • History of heart failure
  • History of the cardiovascular system
  • History of the heart
  • William Harvey


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