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Hans Goldmann (1899 – 1991) – the man who coined the daily practice of ophthalmology worldwide during half a century until today


Gloor, B P (2009). Hans Goldmann (1899 – 1991) – the man who coined the daily practice of ophthalmology worldwide during half a century until today. Acta Ophthalmologica, 87(s244):online.

Abstract

Goldmann presented 1937 a slit lamp, which allowed for the first time to examine the whole eye from the surface of the cornea to the fundus on the sitting patient with ease. Motion in three dimensions was possible with the fingertips of one hand. A reduction of the angel between observation and illumination beam allowed to use contact lenses with the free hand to investigate 360° of the chamber angle. Since then the difference between angle closure and open angle glaucoma is established. The illumination system of the slit-lamp was brought in vertical position in 1958, the Haag-Streit slit lamp 900 was born. It sets, with a few modifications, still the standard. In the meantime the Goldmann cupola perimeter was developed (1945), which allowed the standardization of background and target illumination for the first time. The applanation tonometer was introduced in 1954, again a standard instrument until today. Meanwhile these instruments determine the daily practice, for Goldmann they were, with other inventions, the tools to measure patho-physiologic processes and to understand diseases. Most determined was Goldmann in glaucoma research: Gonioscopy, perimetry to follow the increase of glaucomatous damage, detection of the aequeous veins, measurement of the production of the aqueous by fluorescein-dilution curves, determination of the outflow facility and pseudofacility, establishment of the "Goldmann-Formula", tonometry by applanation and finally stereochronoscopy, these were the steps that unveiled glaucoma. Goldmann, a most gifted fascinating personality, born in Komotau in Bohemia, grew up in Prague, was educated in arts, mathematics and physics, was trained by von Tchermak-Seysenegg and Elschnig in Prague, then by Siegrist in Berne. He became Siegrists successor in Berne 1935, this in spite of dangerous feuds with Alfred Vogt on the etiology of the glass blower cataract. He was granted Swiss citizenship 1936. He was an exceptionally great teacher for the students. He became Rector magnificus of the University of Berne in 1965. He retired in 1968, having chaired the department for 44 years. He remained active in research until his late eighties. 1991 ophthalmology lost one of his greatest genius.

Abstract

Goldmann presented 1937 a slit lamp, which allowed for the first time to examine the whole eye from the surface of the cornea to the fundus on the sitting patient with ease. Motion in three dimensions was possible with the fingertips of one hand. A reduction of the angel between observation and illumination beam allowed to use contact lenses with the free hand to investigate 360° of the chamber angle. Since then the difference between angle closure and open angle glaucoma is established. The illumination system of the slit-lamp was brought in vertical position in 1958, the Haag-Streit slit lamp 900 was born. It sets, with a few modifications, still the standard. In the meantime the Goldmann cupola perimeter was developed (1945), which allowed the standardization of background and target illumination for the first time. The applanation tonometer was introduced in 1954, again a standard instrument until today. Meanwhile these instruments determine the daily practice, for Goldmann they were, with other inventions, the tools to measure patho-physiologic processes and to understand diseases. Most determined was Goldmann in glaucoma research: Gonioscopy, perimetry to follow the increase of glaucomatous damage, detection of the aequeous veins, measurement of the production of the aqueous by fluorescein-dilution curves, determination of the outflow facility and pseudofacility, establishment of the "Goldmann-Formula", tonometry by applanation and finally stereochronoscopy, these were the steps that unveiled glaucoma. Goldmann, a most gifted fascinating personality, born in Komotau in Bohemia, grew up in Prague, was educated in arts, mathematics and physics, was trained by von Tchermak-Seysenegg and Elschnig in Prague, then by Siegrist in Berne. He became Siegrists successor in Berne 1935, this in spite of dangerous feuds with Alfred Vogt on the etiology of the glass blower cataract. He was granted Swiss citizenship 1936. He was an exceptionally great teacher for the students. He became Rector magnificus of the University of Berne in 1965. He retired in 1968, having chaired the department for 44 years. He remained active in research until his late eighties. 1991 ophthalmology lost one of his greatest genius.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:27 Jan 2010 13:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1395-3907
Additional Information:Special Issue : Abstracts from the 2009 European Association for Vision and Eye Research Conference
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-3768.2009.375.x

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