Recurrent artery of Heubner: Otto Heubner's description of the artery and his influence on pediatrics in Germany

R. I. Haroun, D. Rigamonti, R. J. Tamargo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the recurrent artery of Heubner is one of the best known cerebral arteries, little has been written in the neurosurgical or anatomical literature about its discovery. The artery is of primary importance to cerebrovascular surgeons, who identify it during clipping of anterior communicating artery aneurysms. Johann Otto Leonhardt Heubner (1843-1926), who described this artery in 1872, is better known as the father of German pediatrics. He was appointed to the first professorship in Germany exclusively devoted to pediatrics at the Charité Children's Clinic of Berlin University. Although he initially studied internal medicine in Leipzig under Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich and Ernst Leberecht Wagner, his early research involved anatomical studies of the circulation of the brain, from which he described syphilitic endarteritis (Heubner's disease). Finding morphological studies inconclusive, he turned to more physiological experiments. Together with the physiologist Max Rubner, Heubner performed important studies on energy metabolism in infancy, creating the notion of the nutrition quotient. In this article the authors review Heubner's life and scientific discoveries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1088
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Johann Otto Leonhardt Heubner
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgical history
  • Recurrent artery of Heubner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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