Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon

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The Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon is a manuscript written in the 13th century by the Arab physician Ibn al-Nafis. The manuscript was discovered in 1924 in the archives of the Prussian State Library in Berlin, Germany.[1] It contains the earliest descriptions of the coronary circulation and pulmonary circulation systems.[1]

Latin translation[edit]

The manuscript was translated into Latin by the Italian physician Andrea Alpago,[2] In 1520, Alpago returned to Padua with a Latin translation of the commentary, after living in the Arabian Peninsula for 30 years.[3]


Here, Ibn Nafis described for the first time and in detail how the blood comes to the left ventricle not through the septum, but from the right ventricle (RV) through the pulmonary artery, lungs, and the pulmonary vein. He also first described the presence and function of the coronary circulation.

When he (Ibn al-Nafis) was only 29, he published his most important work, the Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon, which included his ground-breaking views on the pulmonary circulation and heart

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c West, John (1985). "Ibn al-Nafis, the pulmonary circulation, and the Islamic Golden Age". Journal of Applied Physiology. 105 (6): 1877–1880. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.91171.2008. PMC 2612469. PMID 18845773.
  2. ^ Bondke Persson, A.; Persson, P. B. (2014). "Form and function in the vascular system". Acta Physiologica. 211 (3): 468–470. doi:10.1111/apha.12309. PMID 24800879. S2CID 26211642.
  3. ^ Bosmia, Anand; Watanabe, Koichi; Shoja, Mohammadali M.; Loukas, Marios; Tubbs, R. Shane (2013). "Michael Servetus (1511–1553): Physician and heretic who described the pulmonary circulation". International Journal of Cardiology. 167 (2): 318–321. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.06.046. PMID 22748500. “It is possible that Al-Nafis' book was known in 16th century Europe, for Andrea Alapago returned from thirty years in Arabia to Padua in 1520 with a Latin translation of the commentary
  4. ^ Michelakis, E. D. (19 June 2014). "Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow". Circulation Research. 115 (1): 109–114. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.301132. PMID 24951761.