Biography of Jean Lenègre
Jean Lenègre was the son of the physician Félix Lenègre and Marie née Faure. He received his medical training in Paris. Influenced by Clerc and Laubry he chose cardiology as his special field. He became Médecin des Hôpitaux in 1937 and Professeur Agrégé. From 1936 to the outbreak of the war, he was in charge of pathological anatomy at the cardiological centre of the Broussais Hospital. He performed all the necropsies there and correlated his anatomical findings with the clinical electrocardiographic and haemodynamic data, and this work formed the basis of his well-known textbook, Electrocardiographie Clinique (1954) which was undoubtedly the most authoritative work on the subject at that date.
In 1933 he married Marie-Louise Connan. They had a daughter, Annie.
After military service 1939-1940, he worked at the Lariboisière Hospital until 1949, when he moved to the Bouciaut where he remained as professor of clinical cardiology. During the German occupation, ignorant of Cournand's work in America, he embarked on right heart catheterization in 1943, using a ureteric catheter and an improvised radiological control. After the war, he was quick to grasp the importance of the American and Mexican work on electrocradiography which became his main interest for a time.
In spite of his pioneer work in Haemodynamics, he avoided becoming much involved in congenital heart disease as he felt it would be wrong the he and Soulié should both concentrate on the same field of research and teaching, so he devoted himself to an investigation of the cardiac conducting system, and in time he became the leading authority on diseases of the bundle of His and its branches on which he had published many papers. His pathological experience at the Boussais stood him in good stead.
Lenègere was a most versatile all round cardiologist whose numerous papers and books covered the whole field of cardiovascular disease, and he could hold his own in discussion with experts in almost every branch of cardiology. His capacity for work was prodigious and even when his health began to deteriorate he never spared himself and undertook many important and burdensome duties, including presidency of the French and European Societies of Cardiology and editorship of the Archives des Maladies du Coeur. His devotion to his old chief, Laubry, never wavered and he became an inseparable companion of le patron on his travels in his later years.
- Evan Bedford:
Jean Lenègre 1904-1972. British heart Journal, August 1972, 34 (8): 858.
- L. Trias de Bes:
Professor Jean Lenègre.
Revista española de cardiologia, Barcelona, January-February, 1972, 25 (1): 90.
- Who's who in France 1959-1960. 4e éd. Paris 1959.