- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Leeuwenhoek's disease

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Respiratory myoclonus - repetitive involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and accessory muscles of respiration. This results in shortness of breath and epigastric pulsations.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek complained of these symptoms in 1723 - cardiac palpitations were diagnosed but he doubted the diagnosis as his arterial pulse was slower and more regular than his epigastric pulsations which he felt were diaphragmatic in origin.

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