De ischiade nervosa commentarius

Autore: COTUGNO, Domenico (1736-1822)

Tipografo: Paolo & Nicolò Di Simone

Dati tipografici: Napoli, 1764

8vo (197x128 mm). [8], 88 pp. and 1 engraved plate printed in blue (Cimarelli sculp). Title page printed in red and black with a woodcut ornament in the center. Recent cardboards with lettering piece on spine. On title page ownership's entry of the surgeon from Calitri Giovanni Cioglia. With a few marginal annotations and reading marks. Foxing and staining throughout, slightly uniformly browned.


Rare first edition of this classic work on sciatica that was reprinted several times over the following years. Cotugno “was the first to describe the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and to suggest that it was in continuity with the ventricular and cerebral subarachnoid fluids. However, his concept of the cerebral and spinal fluid, which is the beginning of its modern physiology, remained in obscurity until rediscovery by Magendie some 60 years later” (Clarke & O'Malley, Human Brain and Spinal Cord, pp. 721-2; see also pp. 728-31).

“Cotugno was a keen observer and a fine clinician. In this, perhaps his most important work, he differentiates arthritis from nervous sciatica, gives the first detailed description of cerebrospinal fluid, and shows that the congealed protein in the urine of a nephrotic patient is a diagnostic sign” (Heirs of Hippocrates, 647).

“Cotugno published a classic description of sciatica, which is useful even today. He recognized two types--arthritic and nervous; the latter has been called ‘Cotugno's disease', and his book is confined to that type. The book also describes a case of acute nephritis” (Garrison-Morton, 4515).


Haymaker & Schiller, Founders of Neurology, pp. 19-22; Norman, 522; Wellcome, II, p. 398; Garrison-Morton, 1382; Blake, 101; Waller, 2166.