Jump to content

Alexis Littré

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Alexis Littre)

Alexis Littre (17 July 1654[1] – 3 February 1726) was a French physician and anatomist born in Cordes (currently Cordes-Tolosannes in the department of Tarn-et-Garonne).


Littre studied medicine in Montpellier and Paris, receiving his doctorate in 1691. In 1699 he became a member of the Académie des Sciences.

In Paris, he taught anatomy and was the author of numerous medical publications. He was the first to give a description of a hernial protrusion of an intestinal diverticulum. This condition is now referred to as "Littre's hernia".[2]

He also described the mucous urethral glands of the male urethra. These structures were to become known as "Littre's glands",[3] and their inflammation is sometimes called "littreitis".[4][5]

In his 1710 treatise Diverses observations anatomiques, Littre was the first to suggest the possibility of performing a lumbar colostomy for an obstruction of the colon.[6]

Jean Louis Petit was one of his students.[7] So was Jacques-Bénigne Winslow in 1707. He died in Paris.



  1. ^ Not on July 21, as has been repeated by all his biographers after Fontenelle, but on July 17, 1654: Charles Portal. Histoire de la ville de Cordes, Tarn (1222-1799). Imprimerie Nouguiès, 1902, p. 471. Portal, who wrote the history of Littre's native town, was in a position to access official records.
  2. ^ Littre's hernia @ Who Named It
  3. ^ Littre's glands @ Who Named It
  4. ^ Littreitis @ Who Named It
  5. ^ Canadian Practitioner, Volume 31
  6. ^ Atlas of Intestinal Stomas edited by Victor W. Fazio, James M. Church, James S. Wu
  7. ^ Great Ideas in the History of Surgery by Leo M. Zimmerman, Ilza Veith

External links[edit]

  • Online articles by Littré[permanent dead link] 10 articles (2012-05-15) on the site of the Académie des sciences.
  • Cotlar, Alvin M. (January 2002). "Historical landmarks in operations on the colon—surgeons courageous". Current Surgery. 59 (1). Elsevier: 91–95. doi:10.1016/s0149-7944(01)00606-7. ISSN 0149-7944. PMID 16093113.
  • Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, Éloge de Monsieur Littré, p. 129, at Google Books, 1754, p. 129 (Eulogy)