Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich
Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich (August 4, 1815, Sulz am Neckar – September 25, 1877, Leipzig) was a German physician, pioneer psychiatrist, and medical professor. He is known for his measurement of mean healthy human body temperature of 37 °C (98.6 °F), now known more accurately to be about 36.8 °C (98.2 °F).
He attended grammar school in Stuttgart and at the age of eighteen he began his medical studies at Tübingen University, where he completed his final exams in 1837. In 1838 he worked as assistant at St Catharine's Hospital in Stuttgart, and wrote his MD thesis. Two years later he wrote his MD habilitation on internal medicine at Tübingen University
In 1846 he was appointed Professor (ordentlicher Professor) and head of the general hospital at Tübingen. Four years later he moved to Leipzig University as Professor and Medical Director of the university hospital. There he introduced clinical pedagogy, combined with a rigorous methodology of diagnosis, and empirical observation of patients. He introduced temperature charts into hospitals, holding that fever is not a disease, but a symptom. The thermometer he used was reportedly a foot long, and required 20 minutes to register the temperature.
He was known for his lectures on psychiatry and on the "pathology and therapy of illnesses of the nervous system." He described an extremely rare eponymous syndrome which consists of retroperitoneal bleeding from the kidney which tracks into the surrounding tissues. This may be due to benign or malignant disease. In 1871 he was appointed to the Department of Medicine's organisational commission for the construction and design of psychiatric hospitals.
- Wunderlich, Carl Reinhold (1856). Handbuch der Pathologie und Therapie. Stuttgart: Ebner & Seubert.
- Wunderlich, Carl Reinhold (1868). Das Verhalten der Eigenwärme in Krankheiten ("The behavior of the self-warmth in diseases"). Leipzig: O. Wigand.
- Mackowiak, P. A.; S. S. Wasserman; M. M. Levine (September 23, 1992). "A critical appraisal of 98.6°F, the upper limit of the normal body temperature, and other legacies of Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich". JAMA 268 (12): 1578–1580. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490120092034. PMID 1302471. Retrieved 2007-08-22. The conversion of 37°C to Fahrenheit should have conserved Wunderlich's two significant figures, thus the standard ought to have been 99 °F (37 °C) until its recent empirical correction.
- Bhamrah J, Ranasinghe L, Singh SM (2010). "An unusual presentation of Wunderlich syndrome". Grand Rounds 10: 117–119. doi:10.1102/1470-5206.2010.0027.
- Oon SF, Murphy M, Connolly SS (2010). "Wunderlich syndrome as the first manifestation of renal cell carcinoma". Urology Journal 7 (2): 129–32. PMID 20535702.
- Archives for the History of Psychiatry in Leipzig online
- "Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich und die Universitätsklinik St. Jakob", from the History of the University of Leipzig (German)