He studied medicine in Paris, where he was a student and collaborator of Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893). From 1887 he was associated with the Hospice d'Ivry, and for a number of years served as chef de travaux in the pathological anatomy laboratory of Victor André Cornil (1837–1908).
In 1880 Gombault published an early description involving a type of hypertrophic neuritis that was later to be known as Dejerine-Sottas syndrome. With Charcot, he performed important research of obstructive biliary cirrhosis. In 1877 he published Etude sur la sclérose latérale amyotrophique, a study on "Charcot disease", better known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Eponyms associated with Gombault
- Charcot-Gombault necrosis: a biliary infarct, which is a late-stage complication of extra-hepatic cholestasis. (Eponym known from historical literature).
- Gombault-Philippe triangle: a triangular field formed in the conus medullaris by the fibers of the septomarginal tract. Named with pathologist Claudien Philippe (1866–1903).
- Diseases of the liver, gall-bladder and bile-ducts by Humphry Davy Rolleston
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