Scipione Riva Rocci e lo sfigmomanometro

Translated title of the contribution: Scipione Riva Rocci and the sphygmomanometer

A. Argenteri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whenever we doctors undertake the perfectly ordinary task of using a sphygmomanometer to measure a patient's blood pressure, we owe that possibility to the inventiveness of an internist in his early thirties: Scipione Riva Rocci (1863-1937). A graduate of Turin University and a pupil of Carlo Forlani, who invented the induced pneumothorax, Riva Rocci was inspired by the mechanical bent of his Master to create a device in 1896 whose principles and criteria still underlie the sphygmomanometer we all use to this day. Riva Rocci had a peripatetic academic life following his Master to Pavia University and later in 1990 inheriting his post as Chief Internist at Varese Hospital, during which period he also taught Paediatrics at Pavia University. Forced into early retirement by the lethergic encephalitis he contracted in the course of his duties, Riva Rocci spent his last years on the Ligurian coast and is buried there in the small cemetery of San Michele di Pagana. Riva Rocci was the first to admit that he owed his inspiration to the earlier experiments of Ludwig (1816-73), Marey (1830-1904) and von Basch (1837-1905). The use of Riva Rocci's measuring device was perfected when it was combined with the use of the stethoscope as described by Korotov in 1905 and but for a few minor updates, remains unchanged today.

Translated title of the contributionScipione Riva Rocci and the sphygmomanometer
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalGiornale Italiano di Chirurgia Vascolare
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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