John Ferriar

J. Willis Hurst, W. Bruce Fye, W. Bruce Fye
1998 Clinical Cardiology  
British physician John Ferriar (Fig. 1) is included in the Profiles in Cardiology series because he published the first monograph on digitalis after William Withering ( 1785). Ferriar was the first to suggest that digitalis was beneficial in dropsy (severe congestive heart failure), in part because it appeared to act directly on the heart. He was also one ofthe first physicians to recognize an association between acute rheumatism and heal disease. Fetriar was born in Oxnani. Roxburghshire.
more » ... Roxburghshire. England, on November 6, I76 I He received his M.D. from the University of Edinburgh and practiced briefly in Stockton-on-Tees before moving to Manchester in 1785. A thoughtful and inquisitive physician, Feniar took notes on interesting cases, and between 1792 and 18 13 he published four volumes ofessays based on his extensive clinical experience.2 J J The first volume of Ferriar's essays included an &page article on remedies for dropsy and a paper on dilatation of the heart. The monograph on dropsy included 47 brief case reports and a tabular summary of outcomes, Ferriar compared the outcomes of patients treated with the three main remedies he used: digitalis, cream of tartar, and "tonic pills." He admitted that "On reviewing these observations, which were made predilection for any remedy, the result appears not highly in favor of the digitalis." Nevertheless, Ferriar concluded, "From what I have seen of its effects, I shall hereafter give it a preference in most cases ofdropsy."3 Adilrcss for reprints: W . I3ruce €:ye, M.D.. M.A.
doi:10.1002/clc.4960210717 pmid:9669066 fatcat:47intm33zjf4finqk5fg5whffq