History of the study of hemorrhagic disease of newborns

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The article describes the main historical periods of the study of hemorrhagic disease of newborns. Clinical observations, describing bleeding of newborns, which occurs without visible damage, known since the seventeenth century and are found in the works of Francois Mauriceau and Georg Wolfgang Wedel. The role of the liver injury in the development of bleeding of infants noticed English physicians John Huxham (1672-1768) and John Cheyne (1777-1836). In 1871 Ludwig Grandidier conducted differential diagnosis between umbilical bleeding of neonates and the hemophilia clinic. Later I.P. Pavlov showed, that the clotting time of dog’s blood significantly prolongs when you turn off the liver from the blood circulation. In that way, partly began to understand the etiology of hemorrhagic syndrome, but the pathogenesis of this suffering, in diseases of the liver remained unknown. Charles Wendell Townsend in 1894, describing 50 cases of coagulopathy of newborns, at the first time paid attention to the connection between breastfeeding and development of bleeding and offered to call this nosological form as "hemorrhagic disease of newborns". In the late 20s of the last century Henrik Dam have identified the unknown substances from green lucerne leaves and described them as the fat-soluble vitamin K (coagulation). In 1943 H. Dam and E. Doisy received the Nobel prize for the discovery and establishment of the chemical structure of vitamin K. In 1943, a group of Soviet biochemists have synthesized a water-soluble analogue of vitamin K (K3, vicasolum), quickly introduced into clinical practice and showed their high efficiency in patients with hypovitaminosis K. In 1945 Yu.F. Dombrovskaya suggested that haemorrhagic disease of newborns caused by deficit of vitamin K. Further researching of the development of haemorrhagic disease of newborns is associated with the study of the biochemistry of the pathogenesis of the disease, identify its various forms and development of treatment techniques and prevention, depending on the identified features.

Dmitry O. Ivanov

Author for correspondence.
St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, Dr Med Sci, Professor, Rector

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