Guichard Joseph Duverney
Guichard Joseph Duverney or Joseph-Guichard Du Verney (5 August 1648 – 10 September 1730) was a French anatomist who was a native of Feurs
Feurs is a commune in the Loire department and in the Rhône-Alpes region in central France.The inhabitants of Feurs are called Foréziens.-History:The name Feurs derives from the Roman name of the town Forum Segusiavorum...

 in the province of Forez
Forez is a former province of France, corresponding approximately to the central part of the modern Loire département and a part of the Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme départements....


He studied medicine in Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

, where in 1667 he obtained his medical degree. Shortly afterwards, he relocated to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where in 1676 he became a member of the Académie des sciences. He is remembered for his anatomical exhibitions at the Jardin du Roi in Paris, and is considered by many to be the founder of otology
Otology is a branch of biomedicine which studies normal and pathological anatomy and physiology of the ear as well as its diseases, diagnosis and treatment....


Duverney published one of the earliest comprehensive works on otology, titled Traité de l'organe de l'ouie, contenant la structure, les usages et les maladies de toutes les parties de l'Oreille (Treatise on the organ of hearing, containing the structure, function, and diseases of all parts of the ear) in Paris in 1683. In this book he discusses the anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

, physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

s of the ear. Duverney's theory of hearing was fundamentally similar to what Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science...

 (1821–1894) later proposed in the mid 19th century, except that he had the direction of the frequency mapping reversed: he thought that high frequency would resonate near the apex of the cochlea
The cochlea is the auditory portion of the inner ear. It is a spiral-shaped cavity in the bony labyrinth, making 2.5 turns around its axis, the modiolus....

, and low frequencies near the base (Domenico Cotugno
Domenico Cotugno
Domenico Felice Antonio Cotugno was an Italian physician.Born at Ruvo di Puglia/Bari into a family of humble means, Cotugno underwent physical and economic hardships to get an education. He was sent to nearby Molfetta for training in Latin, returning to Ruvo for work in logic, metaphysics,...

 in 1760 turned this around to the correct direction).

In 1683, Duverney identified a temporal bone
Temporal bone
The temporal bones are situated at the sides and base of the skull, and lateral to the temporal lobes of the cerebrum.The temporal bone supports that part of the face known as the temple.-Parts:The temporal bone consists of four parts:* Squama temporalis...

 tumor, which is thought to be the earliest description of cholesteatoma
Cholesteatoma is a destructive and expanding growth consisting of keratinizing squamous epithelium in the middle ear and/or mastoid process.-Signs and symptoms:...

. He realized the importance of the Eustachian tube
Eustachian tube
The Eustachian tube is a tube that links the nasopharynx to the middle ear. It is a part of the middle ear. In adult humans the Eustachian tube is approximately 35 mm long. It is named after the sixteenth-century anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi...

 and its role in adjusting air pressure in the tympanic cavity
Tympanic cavity
The tympanic cavity is a small cavity surrounding the bones of the middle ear.It is formed from the tubotympanic recess, an expansion of the first pharyngeal pouch....

. However, he believed that the Eustachian tube was always open, acting as a vent to the air, when the eardrum
The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, is a thin membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear in humans and other tetrapods. Its function is to transmit sound from the air to the ossicles inside the middle ear. The malleus bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles...

 moves in and out.

Duverney's clinical work led to the posthumous publication of a book, Maladies des Os, which contains both the description of the eponymous Duverney fracture
Duverney fracture
Duverney fractures are isolated pelvic fractures involving only the iliac wing. They are caused by direct trauma to the iliac wing, and are generally stable fractures as they do not disrupt the weight bearing pelvic ring....

 and the first full description of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis the bone mineral density is reduced, bone microarchitecture is deteriorating, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone is altered...

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