Professor E.E. Andresen 125th anniversary

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The article is dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Professor E.E. Andrezen’s birth. Authors describe his life’s journey, scientific and pedagogic activities.

Eduard Ernstovich Andresen was born on May 3, 1892 in St. Petersburg. Upon graduation from the Gymnasium in 1912, he entered the Imperial Military Medical Academy (Figure 2). In March 1913, E. Andresen was expelled (along with 330 other students) for rioting and their refusal to obey the requirements of the order of the Minister of War. According to this order, the students of the Academy were renamed as listeners, equated to military school pupils. A military oath was introduced, and the students were required to wear shoulder straps and render salutes. Closure of the academy resonated throughout society and a number of requests in the State Duma. A few days later, with the publication of the new Statute on the Academy, it was reopened.



Fig. 1. Professor E.E. Andrezen, head of Ophthalmology Department of the 1st medical institution named after I.P. Pavlov



Fig. 2. Imperial Military Medical Academy


However, by that time E.E. Andresen had already decided to continue his education at the University of Dorpat (Figure 3). He graduated in 1917, became a military doctor, and was immediately called upon for active military service. Between 1918 and 1921, he served in various capacities within the Red Army.



Fig. 3. Dorpat University


In 1921, E.E. Andresen was employed by the Leningrad Post-graduate Institute for Medical Practitioners as an assistant to Professor V.N. Dolganov. In 1928, after Professor V.N. Dolganov was named the head of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Military Medical Academy, he offered E.E. Andresen the position of teacher (Figure 4).



Fig. 4. Teachers and doctors of the eye clinic of the Military Medical Academy (1928). The first row: the third from the left is E.E. Andresen, in the center is V.N. Dolganov, on his right is assistant professor G.G. Bursuk


At that time, all the scientific work of the Military Medical Academy, including the Department of Ophthalmology, was connected with military medicine. This was in response to new means of warfare, including tanks, chemical warfare agents, etc.

E.E. Andresen studied ocular damage incurred by poisonous substances, in particular mustard gas. In addition, he conducted research in the field of military medical examination while continuing his studies of glaucoma and the physiology of vision.

Since the late 20s and until the mid-1930s, social experiments examined the training of cadets, post-graduate education, and military doctor training. Using trial and error, new principles were made for the training of military doctors, as well as their post-graduate education and the training of scientists. For example, the training duration for military doctors was reduced from 5 to 4 years, and even to 3 years and 8 months. Additionally, cadet examinations were canceled, the term of secondment of doctors to upgrade qualifications was reduced to 4 months instead of two years, academic titles were eliminated, and doctoral dissertations were no longer defended. E.E. Andresen, while maintaining external equanimity in this difficult situation, helped V.N. Dolganov in his scientific, educational, and therapeutic endeavors.

The 5-year education program for cadets resumed in the mid-30s, and a system of tests and examinations was instated. Improved equipment emerged for ophthalmology clinics, including new slit lamps, refractometers, adaptometers, anomaloscopes, binocular ophthalmoscopes, and reflexless ophthalmoscope, etc.

In the late 30s, the load sharply increased due to a two-fold increase in the number of cadets in the Military Medical Academy. The number of seconded doctors (which later became residency training) increased to 15. E.E. Andresen developed practical research methods for training while elucidating the pathological anatomy of the eye.

In 1932, a new two-degree system of scientific degrees was approved. This system introduced a candidate and a doctor of medical sciences.

In 1935, according to the presentation of Professor V.N. Dolganov, E.E. Andresen was awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences. His second talented student B.L. Polyak (the future chief ophthalmologist of the Soviet Army), was awarded the academic degree of Candidate of Medical Science.

In 1936, E.E. Andresen took an active part in the defense subsection of the 2nd All-Union Congress of Ophthalmologists, held in Leningrad.

Between 1939 and 1940, he provided specialized ophthalmic care to the wounded during the Soviet–Finnish campaign. The clinic had 120 beds.

In 1940, Professor V.N. Dolganov was awarded the title of Honored Worker of Science of the RSFSR and the military rank of “corps doctor” (which corresponds to the military rank of colonel–general of the medical service). Two of his talented students, 42-year-old B.L. Polyak and 49-year-old E.E. Andresen, continued their collaboration with him (Figure 6).



Fig. 5. Conference, dedicated to the 45th anniversary of professor V.N. Dolganov scientific activity, 1935 (E.E. Andresen is in the first row, first from the left)



Fig. 6. V.N. Dolganov with his followers: B.L. Polyak and E.E. Andresen, 1940


The Great Patriotic War began in the summer of 1941. In November 1941, the Military Medical Academy was transferred from blockade Leningrad to Samarkand. V.N. Dolganov refused to evacuate Leningrad and died in the terrible winter days of 1942. The Department chair was entrusted to B.L. Polyak. In Samarkand in 1942, Eduard Ernstovich was relegated to the reserve as a brigade physician, and he worked in the Uzbek SSR as an ophthalmologist at a trachomatous dispensary till 1946.

In 1946, Eduard Ernstovich returned to Leningrad, and was employed in the Leningrad L.L. Hirschman Research Institute of Eye Diseases (Figure 7). He first headed the traumatology department, and during 1955–1958 he worked as Deputy Director for Science. In 1952 he was awarded the title of Professor.



Fig. 7. Leningrad Scientific Research Institute of Eye Diseases n.a. L.L. Hirschman


In 1952, V.V. Chirkovsky, Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR and honored worker of science of the RSFSR left the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology of the First Leningrad Medical Institute. For some time there was a frequent change of leaders; the department was headed by the Associate professor R.A. Batarchukov (1952–1954 and 1956–1958), and Professor L.A. Dymshits (1954–1956). After being elected as the department head, E.E. Andresen restored stability and a calm working atmosphere for the team. He preserved and multiplied the scientific studies at the Department of Ophthalmology. The problems of ophthalmotraumatology, glaucoma, the physiology of vision, and application of enzymes for treating eye diseases were actively studied.

Andresen authored about 40 scientific works on various topics within ophthalmology. Several of these were concerned with eye damage due to various factors including chemical warfare agents, radiant energy, mechanical trauma, etc.

His major works included “Protein therapy with eye diseases” (1930), “Dichloramine is an yperite-eliminating and therapeutic agent in eye lesions with yperite” (1932), “Yperite elimination from eyes with benzene” (1932), “Application of protein-containing agents for the yperite elimination from rabbit eyes” (1932), “On the choice of an yperite-eliminating agent for eyes” (1936), “Topical treatment with ultraviolet rays of diseases of the eyelid margins and cornea” (1940), “Experimental study of eye changes under the influence of radiant energy of high-power mercury-quartz lamps” (1941), among others.

In his work “Atrophy of the eye due to injury and sympathetic inflammation” (1958), he described patients with repeated inflammations in atrophic eyes and demonstrated that repeated inflammation can lead to sympathetic inflammation. In the article “Prevention of fusion of the eyeball and eyelids after burns” [co-authored with E.A. Lebedinskaya and E.O. Rivkina (1956)], the authors concluded that long-term use of celluloid plates produces good results for preventing eyelid fusion, along with pharmaceutical treatment. Under the guidance of E.E. Andresen, V.A. Emilit, a post-graduate student of the department, defended her candidate’s dissertation on the effects of ultraviolet irradiation on the cornea. The monograph of E.E. Andresen stated “Keep your eyes safe at production sites” (1959) (Figure 9).



Fig. 8. The Department of Ophthalmology with the Clinic of the I Leningrad Medical Institute n.a. I.P. Pavlov



Fig. 9. The monograph of E.E. Andresen


He studied the glaucomatous process, and was known for his work in this field, such as “On the question of intraocular pressure in the normal eye and under certain pathological conditions” (1928), and “Change in the functions of the thyroid gland in glaucoma” (1936). In the latter publication, he showed that in some cases, glaucoma was associated with hypothyroidism. In his work “The thresholds of chromatic sensitivity in glaucoma” (1959), he suggested using this method for determining thresholds of chromatic sensitivity for early diagnosis of the disease, as well as for judging the course and prognosis of glaucoma, and found that anomaloscope estimated such thresholds most accurately. A post-graduate student of the department I.A. Plyasova-Bakunina, under the guidance of E.E. Andresen, studied nail bed capillary changes associated with glaucoma. In addition, he was interested in other eye diseases, and eye physiology, as evidenced by his works “Stimulation of dark adaptation by means of light filters” (1941), “Increasing the light sensitivity of the eye with dark adaptation with red light filters” (1946), “Objective method of investigating the latent squint” (1946), and “On the connection of latent squint with the leading eye,” in collaboration with A.V. Shibaev (1946).

Of particular note is his last article published in the “Vestnik oftalmologii” (“Ophthalmology Bulletin”) in 1964, in No. 6, “The action of the enzyme lidase in traumatic and other hemorrhages and opacities of the vitreous body.” The article was published in 1963. It is one of the venture works in the USSR, in which the 70-year-old author studied the effect of enzymes in eye injuries with vitreous body damage. The work demonstrated the commitment of an experienced E.E. Andresen to everything that was new. The author examined 68 patients (77 eyes) with hemorrhages and opacities of the vitreous body with various origins. He confirmed the efficacy of lidase use, especially in combination with an intravenous infusion of 10% glucose solution.

E.E. Andresen died on April 9, 1965, in the 73rd year of his life, after a short illness.

Eduard Ernstovich who was a remarkably honest, sympathetic, highly erudite, and industrious person, instilled these qualities in his students. He is a paragon of integrity and nobility for all young doctors!

Yuriy S. Astakhov

Author for correspondence.
Academician I.P. Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, DMedSc, professor. Ophthalmology Department

Vladimir A. Reituzov
S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, assistant professor. Ophthalmology Department

Aysel B. Orudzhova
S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, assistant professor. Ophthalmology Department

Galina V. Angelopoulo
Academician I.P. Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, assistant professor. Ophthalmology Department

Natalya Yu. Beldovskaya
Academician I.P. Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

MD, PhD, assistant professor. Ophthalmology Department

  • Некролог «Памяти Эдуарда Эрнстовича Андрезена» // Вестник офтальмологии. – 1966. – № 1. – С. 90–91. [Nekrolog “Pamyati Eduarda Ernstovicha Andrezena”. Vestnik oftal’mologii. 1966;(1):90-91. (In Russ.)]
  • Шагов М.А. История кафедры офтальмологии Военно-медицинской академии им. С.М. Кирова (1818–1948 г.): Дис. … канд. мед. наук. – Л., 1951. – С. 231–255. [Shagov MA. Istoriya kafedry oftal’mologii Voenno-meditsinskoy akademii im. S.M. Kirova (1818-1948 g). [dissertation] Leningrad; 1951. P. 231-255. (In Russ.)]


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