Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome historical perspective

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Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]


Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is named after the cardiologists Louis Wolff, John Parkinson and Paul Dudley White who gave a definitive description of the conduction disorder of the heart in 1930. The term Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome was coined in 1940.

Historical Perspective

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome was Dsescribed in 1930 and named for John Parkinson, Paul Dudley White, and Louis Wolff. They described a series of 11 healthy young patients who had attacks of paroxysmal tachycardias in the presence of an EKG which showed a bundle branch block pattern with a short PR interval).[1][2]

British physiologist Albert Frank Stanley Kent (1863 - 1958), first described the lateral branches in the atrioventricular groove of the monkey heart (erroneously believing these constituted the normal atrioventricular conduction system) which was later named accessory bundle of Kent.[3][4]

In 1915, Frank Norman Wilson (1890 - 1952) became the first to describe the condition which would later be referred to as Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome.[5] Alfred M. Wedd (1887 - 1967) was the next to describe the condition in 1921.[6] Cardiologists Louis Wolff (1898 - 1972), John Parkinson (1885 - 1976) and Paul Dudley White (1886 - 1973) are credited with the definitive description of the disorder in 1930.[7]

Louis Wolff, Sir John Parkinson and Paul Dudley, who discovered the phenomenon that later would be called the WPW syndrome


  1. synd/1019 at Who Named It
  2. L. Wolff, J. Parkinson, P. D. White. Bundle-branch block with short P-R interval in healthy young people prone to paroxysmal tachyardia. American Heart Journal, St. Louis, 1930, 5: 685.
  3. Kent AFS (1893). "Researches on the structure and function of the mammalian heart". Journal of Physiology. 14 (4–5): 233–54. PMC 1514401. PMID 16992052.
  4. Kent AFS (1914). "A conducting path between the right auricle and the external wall of the right ventricle in the heart of the mammal". Journal of Physiology. 48: 57.
  5. Wilson FN (1915). (abstract) "A case in which the vagus influenced the form of the ventricular complex of the electrocardiogram" Check |url= value (help). Archives of Internal Medicine. 16 (6): 1008–27. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00080060120009.
  6. Wedd AM (1921). "Paroxysmal tachycardia, with reference to nomotropic tachycardia and the role of the extrinsic cardiac nerves". Archives of Internal Medicine. 27 (5): 571–90. doi:10.1001/archinte.1921.00100110056003.
  7. Wolff L, Parkinson J, White PD (1930). "Bundle-branch block with short P-R interval in healthy young people prone to paroxysmal tachyardia". American Heart Journal. 5 (6): 685–704. doi:10.1016/S0002-8703(30)90086-5.