Angelo Maria Maffucci (1845-1903) and the Beginning of Pathological Anatomy in Pisa

Rosalba Ciranni, Valentina Giuffra, Silvia Marinozzi, Gino Fornaciari


In 1884, at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pisa, the new chair of pathology was inaugurated and Angelo Maria Maffucci was appointed first director. Angelo Maffucci was born in 1845 in Calitri, near Avellino, from a farming family. After graduating in medicine at Naples, in 1872, he started his scientific work at the institute of pathology, under Otto von Schron (1837-1917). He was professor of general pathology in Messina than Professor of pathology at the university of Catania. In 1884 assumed the role of chairman of pathology at the university of Pisa, where he died in 1903. His scientific contribution is recorded in the massive collection of his per­sonal notes, sketchbooks and watercolours. In 1881 he described, for the first time, the disease characterized by an enchondroma with multiple angiomas, known as Maffucci's Sindrome. The most important scientific contribution was in the field of tuberculosis. Maffucci asserted that avian tuberculosis had a different aetiology from the bovine and human forms. This revolutionary theory caused a strong scientific conflict with Robert Kock. In the last years of his life his pionering reserach provided the basis for the following modern investigations to produce vaccines from living bacilli. As a person he was described as brilliant and modest, shy and rigorous. 

Key words: XIX century Italy - Maffucci's syndrome - Infectious diseases -Tuberculosis. 


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