Biography of Hans Chiari
Hans Chiari was born in Vienna in 1851, the son of the gynaecologist Johann Chiari (1817-1854). He studied medicine in Vienna and in 1874-1875 served as assistant to the famous Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804-1878). Following graduation in Vienna he served as assistant to Richard Ladislaus Heschl (1824-1881) until 1879. In 1878 he was habilitated in pathological anatomy in Vienna, and four years later he became extraordinarius in Prague. The following year he was appointed ordinarius and superintendent of the pathological-anatomical museum in Prague. In 1906 he was appointed ordinarius of pathological anatomy in Strassburg, where he remained until his death.
During the years from 1876 to 1916 Chiari published more than 177 writings. His publications are distinguished by his exhaustive knowledge of medical literature, being extremely careful to give credit to the discoveries of others. The majority of his works concern systematic post-mortem examinations, a field to which he devoted a separate monograph. In connection with autopsies he was also careful to take care of interesting material, partly for his own teaching, partly for the museum. His works on deformities of the heart and the large glands are considered to be of special importance.
In 1891 in Prague Chiari published a series of observations called Über Veränderungen des Kleinhirns, der Pons und der Medulla oblongata infolge von Hydrocephalie des Grosshirns. Chiari had thus accepted the theory that the cause of the deformities in the posterior skull cave was the child's hydrocephalus. Five years later he published a richly illustrated monograph, in which he expanded his theories on the basis of a number of cases. In this he made the distinction between the deformities of the brainstem and the cerebellum which is still in use.