- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Joannes Cassianus Pompe

Born  1901
Died  1945

Related eponyms

Dutch pathologist, Born September 8, 1901, Utrecht; died April 15, 1945, Saint Pancras near Alkmaar.

Biography of Joannes Cassianus Pompe

Joannes Cassianus Pompe was the younger brother of Willem Petrus Joseph Pompe (1893-1968), a lawyer and criminologist who has given his name to the Willem Pompe Institute in Utrecht, an institute for criminology, and the Pompe Clinic in Nijmegen, a clinic for psychologically disturbed criminals. He studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam where he graduated M.D.

In 1935 he became the first anatomical pathologist at the Canisius hospital in Nijmegen, where he got a new laboratory at his disposition.

Because of his light complexion he became known as "White Pompe" – as opposed to a colleague who was called "Black Pompe" – Swarthy. In 1939 he returned to Amsterdam with his family to begin in a senior position.

Pompe was a witty, friendly and cultivated man who read Sophocles in Greek and could recite extensively from the works of the Dutch Poet Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679). He was a devout catholic and interested in liturgy.

Pompe's short career was interrupted by the Second World War. A devout patriot, during the German occupation a secret transmitter was found in his laboratory at Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam, and he was imprisoned by the Germans on February 25, 1945, shortly before Holland was liberated. After a railway line was blown up near St. Pancras he and nineteen others were shot as a retaliative measure, two weeks before the liberation of the Netherlands.

He first presented "his" disease in the Society for the Advancement of Physics, Medicine and Surgery in Amsterdam at a meeting in 1931.


  • Over idiopatische hypertrophy van het hart.
    Nederlandsch Tijdschrift vor Geneeskunde, Amsterdam, 1932; 76: 304.
  • Cardiomegalia glycogenica (glycogenic cardiomegaly).
    Doctoral thesis. Amsterdam : Dekker & Van de vegt NV. Nijmegen-Utrecht, 1936. Biographical:
  • Peter Beighton & Gretha Beighton:
    The Man Behind the Syndrome. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 1986.
  • Barry G. Firkin and Judith A. Whitworth:
    Dictionary of Medical Eponyms.
    The Parthenon Publishing Group. 1989. New edition in 2002.
  • S. Høyer, G. Samuelson:
    Mannen bakom syndromet: Joannes Cassianus Pompe. Först att påvisa glykogeninlagring vid hjärtförstoring - fick en våldsam död framför en exekutionspluton.
    Läkartidningen, Stockholm, 1986, 83: 1477-1479.
    In the series: Mannen bakom syndromet [The Man Behind the Syndrome].
  • Various Internet sources.

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