Should the annular tendon of the eye be named ‘annulus of Zinn’ or ‘of Valsalva’?


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Abstract

ABSTRACT.The annular tendon is commonly named ‘annulus of Zinn’, from the German anatomist and botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727–1759) who described this structure in hisDescriptio anatomica oculi humani(Anatomical Description of the Human Eye, 1755). This structure, however, had been previously discovered not by Zinn, but by Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666–1723) some decades before the publication of Zinn, in hisDissertatio anatomica primaandDissertatio anatomica altera(First and Second Anatomical Dissertations), inside Valsalva'sOpera omniapublished in 1740. We advance that this structure could be re-named such as ‘annulus of Valsalva-Zinn’ because Valsalva, even making a mistake in its functional interpretation, first described this anatomical structure. Likewise, Valsalva, with his discovery, advanced a revolutionary idea for that time on the usefulness of anatomy for clinic and pathology.

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