- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Oskar Langendorff

Born  1853
Died  1908

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German physiologist, born February 1, 1853, Breslau, Lower Silesia, Prussia (today Wrlocaw, Poland); died May 10, 1908, Rostock.

Biography of Oskar Langendorff

Oscar Langendorff studied at the Universities of Breslau, Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Königsberg in Prussia, obtaining his doctorate at the University of Königsberg in 1875. From 1875 to 1878 he was a scientific assistant at the physiological institute in Königsberg, first under Wilhelm von Wittich (1821-1884), then with Wittich's successor Ludimar Hermann (1838-1914).

Langendorff was habilitated for physiology in 1879, becoming professor extraordinary – associate professor – in 1884. From 1892 he was Full Professor – Ordinarius – of physiology and director of the physiological institute at Rostock in Mecklenburg, succeeding Hermann Aubert (1826-1892). He was rector of the University of Rostock 1896/1897 and 1900/1901, and Dean in the summer of 1908.

Langendorff possessed knowledge in all parts of physiology, but he concentrated his research on the location and function of the specific areas of respiration, the heart, and the function of ganglia in nerve transmission. He won world wide recognition for his studies on the isolated heart.

Langendorff was a member of the Leopoldinisch-Carolinische Akademie, corresponding member of the Accademia medico-chirurgica in Perugia and honorary member of the Verein für wissenschaftliche Heilkunde in Königsberg.

He was described by one of his fellow colleagues "to have been not a conqueror, who discovered new and unimaginable areas, but a brave comrade-in-arms who served physiology, our wonderful science, well with diligence and conscientiousness in teaching and research"

We thank Dr. Valdeci J. Pomblum, Santa Maria (RS), Brazil, and Professor Dr. Jochen D. Schipke, Düsseldorf, Germany, for information submitted.


  • Über die elektrische Erregbarkeit der Grosshirnhemisphären beim Frosch.
    Medicinisches Centralblatt, 1876: 945-956.
  • Der Einfluss des N. Vagus und der sensiblen Nerven auf die Atmung.
    Mittheilungen aus dem Königsberger physiologischen Laboratorium, Königsberg, 1878: 33-67.
  • Studien zur Physiologie des Herzvagus.
    Mittheilungen aus dem Königsberger physiologischen Laboratorium, 1878: 68-84.
  • Über das Atmungszentrum. Medicinisches Centralblatt, 1879: 913-915.
  • Studien über Rhytmik und Automatie des Froschherzens. Leipzig, 1884.
  • Physiologische Graphik. Leipzig and Wien, 1891.
  • Untersuchungen am überlebenden Säugetierherzen.
    Archiv für die gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere, Bonn, 1895, 61: 291-332.
  • Untersuchungen am überlebenden Säugetierherzen. II. Über den Einfluss von Wärme und Kälte auf das Herz der warmblütigen Tiere.
    Archiv für die gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere, Bonn, 1897, 66: 355-400.
  • Untersuchungen am überlebenden Säugetierherzen. III. Vorübergehende Unregelmässigkeiten der Herzschlages und ihre Ausgleichung.
    Archiv für die gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere, 1898, 70: 473-486.
  • Der Versuch von Stannius am Warmblüterherzen.
    By C. Lehmann and Oskar Langendorff.
    Archiv für die gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere, 1906, 112: 352-360.
  • Über einige an den Herzohren angestellte Beobachtungen.
    By C. Lehmann and Oskar Langendorff.
    Archiv für die gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere, 1906, 112: 522-530.
  • Über die Innervation der Koronargefässe.
    Zentralblatt für Physiologie, Wien, 1907, 21:551-557. List of works in Ergebnisse der Physiologie, 1909, 8: 808. Biographical etc:
  • Robert Adolf Armand Tigerstedt (1853-1923):
    Oscar Langendorff. Ergebnisse der Physiologie, Wiesbaden, 1909, 8: 797–812.
  • H. Taegtmeyer:
    One hundred years ago: Oscar Langendorff and the birth of cardiac metabolism.
    The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Oakville, Ontario, December 1995, 11 (11): 1030-1035.
  • Heinz-Gerd Zimmer:
    The Isolated Perfused Heart and Its Pioneers.
    News in Physiological Sciences, August 1998, 13 (4): 203-210.
  • Heinz-Gerd Zimmer:
    Profiles in Cardiology. Ilya Fadeyevich Tsion, alias Elias Cyon, alias Elie de Cyon.
    Clinical Cardiology, Mahwah, NJ, October 2004, 27 (10): 584-585.

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