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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 149-150

Armand Trousseau

Department of Surgery, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Web Publication2-Jun-2016

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Pramod Dubhashi
A-2/103, Shivranjan Towers, Someshwarwadi, Pashan, Pune - 411 008, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-4848.183354

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Armand Trousseau was born in 1801 in France. He was recognized for his work on yellow fever and laryngeal phthisis. He occupied several prestigious positions and won numerous laurels. He made several significant contributions to medicine such as Trousseau sign of latent tetany and Trousseau sign of malignancy. He was an excellent clinician and a revered teacher who appreciated the value of bedside observation. He died of visceral malignancy in 1867.

Keywords: Point, sign of latent tetany, sign of malignancy, Trousseau spot

How to cite this article:
Dubhashi SP, Choudhary S. Armand Trousseau. Arch Med Health Sci 2016;4:149-50

How to cite this URL:
Dubhashi SP, Choudhary S. Armand Trousseau. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Oct 2];4:149-50. Available from: https://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2016/4/1/149/183354

Armand Trousseau [Figure 1],[1] born on October 14, 1801, in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France, began his medical studies in his native town as a student of Pierre Fidele Bretonneau. He later pursued his training in Paris where he completed his doctorate in 1825 and became an adjunct faculty in 1827.[2] His early recognition in Paris is attributed to his work on yellow fever and laryngeal phthisis. In 1830, Trousseau became Medecin des hopitaux through concours. With Belloc, he wrote a laryngeal classic in 1837 for which he received the prize of the French Academy of Medicine, and with Pidoux, a test on therapeutics in 1839. He was then appointed as a physician in the hospital, St. Antoine in Paris.[3]
Figure 1: Armand Trousseau

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Salient contributions of Trousseau:[2],[3]

  • First to undertake tracheotomy (1831).
  • Trousseau-Jackson tracheal dilator.
  • Thoracocentesis (1843).
  • Coined the term “aphasia” and “forme fruste “.
  • First description of hemochromatosis.
  • Monograph on laryngeal phthisis.
  • Trousseau sign of latent tetany (1861).
  • Trousseau sign of malignancy (Trousseau Syndrome) (1865).
  • Trousseau-von Bonsdorff Test.[4]
  •  Trousseau-Lallemand bodies More Details — Small gelatinous concretions in seminal fluid (Bence Jones cylinders).
  • Trousseau point — Painful neuralgia at the spinous process of the vertebra below which arises the offending nerve.
  • Trousseau spot — A line of redness resulting from drawing a point across the skin, especially notable in cases of meningitis.
  • Trousseau phenomenon — Exertion of pressure on a nerve trunk determines a tetanic contraction of the corresponding muscles.

Trousseau sign of latent tetany:[5],[6] On inflating the sphygmomanometer cuff above systolic blood pressure for several minutes, there is evidence of muscle contraction including flexion of the wrist and metacarpophalangeal joints, hyperextension of fingers, and flexion of thumb on the palm, suggestive of neuromuscular excitability caused by hypocalcemia (“main d' accoucheur “–hand of the obstetrician).

Trousseau-von Bonsdorff test:[4] This has been correlated with the presence of Trousseau sign of latent tetany. The test is performed immediately after deflating the sphygmomanometer. The patient is instructed to breathe deeply at a rate of 40 breaths/min and is then observed for the previously described carpopedal spasm.

Trousseau sign of malignancy:[7],[8] Trousseau noted that some patients who presented with unexpected, unusual, or migratory thrombosis, later manifested as a visceral malignancy. This description was later elaborated by Sack et al .,[9] in which Trousseau syndrome was reported as associated with chronic disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. Trousseau attributed thromboembolism in malignancy to changes in blood composition rather than local inflammatory or mechanical forces.

In 1861, he published his two-volume text Clinique Medicale de l'Hotel Dieu which contains description of diseases such as measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, and neonatal syphilis. Trousseau was a great teacher and many of his students achieved distinction including Dieulafoy, Brown-Sequard, and Lasagna.[3] He diagnosed the sign of malignancy he had described on himself, succumbing shortly thereafter on June 27, 1867, due to a visceral malignancy.

The personality of Armand Trousseau reflects an amalgamation of attributes such as an excellent clinical acumen, liking for bedside teaching and elements of integrity and generosity.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Biography. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 02].  Back to cited text no. 2
Dunn PM. Professor Armand Trousseau (1801-67) and the treatment of rickets. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 1999;80:F155-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Schaaf M, Payne CA. Effect of diphenylhydantoin and phenobarbital on overt and latent tetany. N Engl J Med 1966;274:1228-33.  Back to cited text no. 4
Urbano FL. Signs of hypocalcemia: Chvostek's and trousseau's signs. Hosp Physician 2000;36:43-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
Trousseau A. Clinique Medicale de l'Hotel-Dieu de Paris. Paris 1861;2:112-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
Varki A. Trousseau's syndrome: Multiple definitions and multiple mechanisms. Blood 2007;110:1723-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Samuels MA, King ME, Balis U. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 31-2002. A 61-year-old man with headache and multiple infarcts. N Engl J Med 2002;347:1187-94.  Back to cited text no. 8
Sack GH Jr., Levin J, Bell WR. Trousseau's syndrome and other manifestations of chronic disseminated coagulopathy in patients with neoplasms: Clinical, pathophysiologic, and therapeutic features. Medicine (Baltimore) 1977;56:1-37.  Back to cited text no. 9


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