Embryology History - Hermann Pfannenstiel

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Hermann Johannes Pfannenstiel (1862 – 1909) was a German gynecologist born in Berlin.

He received his doctorate in Berlin (1885) and afterwards worked as a hospital assistant in Posen. He later moved to Breslau, became an associate professor (1896) and was appointed chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Giessen. Five years later, he attained a similar position at the University of Kiel.

From 1891 he was secretary of the German Society for Gynaecology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie). In 1896 he became co-editor of the Archives of Gynaecology (Archiv für Gynäkologie). Among his better known publications were works on ovarian pathology, uterine tumors and the formation of carcinomas following ovariotomy. In 1908 he was the first physician to give a comprehensive description of familial icterus gravis neonatorum.

Pfannenstiel is remembered clinically for "Pfannenstiel's incision", a transverse incision used in genitourinary surgery that is still widely used today. He published his paper in 1900 when he described 51 cases. His intent was to decrease the risk of an incisional hernia; results also proved to be cosmetically better.

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Links: Pfannenstiel III

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Related Histology Researchers  
Santiago Ramón y Cajal | Camillo Golgi

Pfannenstiel III

Pfannenstiel III (14 somites) Carnegie stage 11

Described by Keibel F., and Elze, C. 1908. Normentafeln zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Wirbeltiere. (Normal Plates for Evolution of Vertebrates) 8. Heft Normentafeln zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Menschen. (Vol. 8. Normal Plates of the Development of the Human Embryo) Fisher, Jena., Germany. Shown as Embryo No.6 (Plate 1 fig. Vr. and Plate 2 fig. Vv.).

Described also by Keibel F. in Keibel F. The Interdependence of the Various Developmental Processes in Keibel F. and Mall FP. Manual of Human Embryology II. (1912) J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia. Chapter XX. The Interdependence of the Various Developmental Processes

Stage 11 Links: Week 4 | Somitogenesis | Placodes | Lecture - Mesoderm | Lecture - Ectoderm | Lecture - Early Vascular | Science Practical | Carnegie Embryos | Category:Carnegie Stage 11 | Next Stage 12
  Historic Papers: 1908 | 1920 | 1923 somites 20 | 1927 Heart | 1928 somites 17-23 | 1959 stage 11 | 1964 dysraphism

Pfannenstiel Klb

Pfannenstiel “Klb” is an historic early human embryo was classified as Stage 10 with 5–6 somite pairs occurring during Week 4, GA week 6.

Pfannenstiel “Klb” (originally at Giessen; was in Keibel's Institute at Freiburg i. Br. about 1911, may now be in Berlin). This well known embryo is No. 3 in the Keibel and Elze Normentafel (1908)[1]. Models by Kroemer (1903)[2].


  1. Keibel F. and Elze C. Normal Plates of the Development of the Human Embryo (Homo sapiens). (1908) Vol. 8 in series by Keibel F. Normal plates of the development of vertebrates (Normentafeln zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Wirbelthiere) Fisher, Jena., Germany.
  2. Kroemer P. Wachsmodell eines jungen menschlichen Embryo (Wax model of a young human embryo). (1903) Verb, deutsch. Gesellsch. Gyndkol., Wiirzburg, p. 537.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, March 3) Embryology Embryology History - Hermann Pfannenstiel. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Hermann_Pfannenstiel

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