- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Henry Khunrath Pancoast

Born  1875
Died  1939

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American radiologist, born February 26, 1875, Philadelphia; died 1939.

Biography of Henry Khunrath Pancoast

Henry Khunrath Pancoast was the son of a doctor. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1898 and in 1900 commenced surgical training at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He was an anaesthetist but became attracted to radiology, and in 1902 he succeeded professor Charles Lester Leonard (1861-1913) as head of the X-ray department at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. In 1912 he was appointed the country's first professor of roentgenology

Pancoast was one of the pioneers in radiology. Pancoast exerted a major influence in the development of radiology as a science, and developed one of the best undergraduate and postgraduate training courses in the country. He gained national recognition for X-ray therapy, especially on inoperable cancers, for examination of the gastrointestinal tract, and for the improvement of chest X-rays in occupational health. In 1939 he was succeeded in the chair of radiooogy by Eugene Percical Pendergrass (born 1895).

His major contributions included his collective studies on the healthy chest, the roentgen diagnosis of intracranial disease, and his studies on silicosis and pneumoconiosis.


  • Pneumoconiosis (silicosis). With Eugene P. Pendergrass. New York, 1926.

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