Manoel de Abreu was the son of Julio Antunes de Abreu and Mercedes da Rocha Dias. He was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on January 4, 1892 1. He graduated in 1913 from the Faculty of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1914 1.
In 1915, he moved to Paris, where he attended the Nouvel Hôpital de la Pitié, the Hôtel-Dieu Central Radiology Laboratory, and the Hospital Laennec 1,3.
Discovery of chest fluorography
At Laennec Hospital in Paris, Manoel de Abreu had, for the first time, the idea of creating a low-cost diagnostic method based on fluorescent screen photography, that would allow for the mass population screening of tuberculosis. Technical problems prevented him from developing his idea in 1919 1.
In 1922, when he returned to Rio de Janeiro, there was a tuberculosis epidemic in the city that had a marked personal impact 1. In 1924, Manoel de Abreu again tried to develop screen photography, but to no avail.
He married Dulce Evans de Abreu in São Paulo on September 7, 1929 1.
In Rio de Janeiro, he was the head of the radiology service of Hospital Jesus, and due to the large burden of pulmonary tuberculosis seen in children 1. In July 1936, de Abreu presented to the Brazilian Society of Tuberculosis a novel technique of photographing a fluoroscopic image and producing small images of the thorax quickly and in large volumes, which he called roentgenphotography. He was the first to establish this new method of investigation for mass radiography of the chest in the fight against tuberculosis.
The high mortality rate of tuberculosis in the 1930s and 1940s and failure to combat the disease effectively led to the widespread rapid adoption of this new technique.
The exam consists of photography on a fluorescent screen, and the documentation is with standard 35 mm or 70 mm film. Its creator always recommended 35 mm film, which, although less expensive, required the use of special magnifying glasses for the interpretation of the exam.
In 1937, a Health Center in Rio de Janeiro received the first device designed to perform serial examinations of the population. During 1938, many countries incorporated chest fluorography as an essential instrument in the fight against the tuberculosis epidemic 1.
Dr Ary Miranda, president of the First Brazilian Tuberculosis Congress, held on May 1939, proposed that the name abreugraphy be used to designate the method devised by Manoel de Abreu 1,3. In other countries, the new diagnostic method received various names, such as roentgenfluorography (Germany), radiophotography (France), photoradioscopy (Spain), photofluorography (Sweden), schermography (Italy), mass radiography, mass miniature radiography, and miniature chest radiography (England and the United States) 1,3,4.
Eventually the World Health Organization ruled against using abreugraphy 2 for mass screenings as better understanding of the risks of radiation became apparent and population prevalence and potential benefits changed.
Manoel de Abreu developed lung cancer, dying on April 30, 1962, at the age of 70 1.
He was awarded numerous honors, both in Brazil and abroad.
- honorary member of the German Society of Radiology (1940)
- honorary member of the American College of Radiology (1945)
- medical medal of the year from the American College of Chest Physicians (1950)
- diploma of honor from the Academy of Tuberculosis Physicians (1950)
- gold medal of the Colegio Interamericano de Radiologia (CIR) (1958)
- discovery of chest photofluorography
- 1. Bedrikow, R. (2001). Manoel de Abreu. Jornal de Pneumologia, 27(1),56-58. https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-35862001000100010
- 2. Gikovate F, Nogueira DP. [Sistematical mass roentgenphotography: economical unviability and eventual danger regarding exposure to radiations. 1976]. (2006) Revista de saude publica. 40 (3): 389-96. doi:10.1590/s0034-89102006000300004 - Pubmed
- 3. Andrew L. Banyai , M.D, ABREUGRAPHY: A MERITORIOUS EPONYM .doi:10.1378/chest.55.4.273
- 4. Ongre A. [Abreugraphy and the introduction of mass X-ray screening to Norway]. (2008) Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny raekke. 128 (24): 2872-4. Pubmed
Related Radiopaedia articles
History of radiology
- key milestones
- 1895: Wilhelm Roentgen detects x-rays
- 1896: Antoine Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
- 1896: Sydney Rowland founds the first radiology journal, Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy
- 1896: Thomas Edison invents the first commercially-available fluoroscope
- 1896: John Macintyre opens the world's first radiology department in Glasgow
- 1898: Marie Curie publishes her paper 'Rays emitted by uranium and thorium compounds'
- 1913: Albert Salomon commences research leading to mammography
- 1913: William Coolidge introduces his eponymous x-ray tube
- 1927: Egas Moniz develops cerebral angiography
- 1934: Frederic and Irene Joliot-Curie artificially produce radioisotopes
- 1936: John Lawrence uses phosphorus-32 to treat leukemia
- 1939: Kitty Clark publishes Clark’s Positioning in Radiography
- 1950s: David Kuhl invents Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
- 1953: Sven-Ivar Seldinger develops his famous technique
- 1957: Ian Donald invents fetal ultrasound
- 1964: Charles Dotter introduces image-guided intervention
- 1965: Benjamin Felson publishes his Principles of Chest Roentgenology
- 1971: Godfrey Hounsfield introduces the CT scanner (co-developed with Allan Cormack)
- 1977: Ray Damadian builds the first commercial MRI scanner
- 1989: Spiral CT introduced
- 2005: Frank Gaillard creates Radiopaedia.org :)
- 2012: inaugural International Day of Radiology
key figures in the history of radiology
- Antoine Henri Becquerel
- Gustav Bucky
- Kathleen "Kitty" Clark
- William D Coolidge
- Allan M Cormack
- Marie Curie
- Ray V Damadian
- Ian Donald
- Charles T Dotter
- Thomas A Edison
- Charles Thurstan Holland
- Godfrey N Hounsfield
- Frederick Joliot
- Irene Joliot-Curie
- David E Kuhl
- Paul C Lauterbur
- Peter Mansfield
- Egas Moniz
- Bernard Ziedses des Plantes
- Wilhelm C Roentgen
- Sven-Ivar Seldinger
- Albert Soiland
- Florence Stoney
- important figures in the history of radiology
- Nobel Prize winners in radiology
- history of modalities
- plain radiography
- nuclear medicine
- interventional radiology
- historical imaging techniques
- conventional tomography
- translumbar aortography
history of radiology journals
- American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR)
- American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)
- American X-Ray Journal
- Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy
- British Journal of Radiology (BJR)
- Clinical Radiology
- European Journal of Radiology (EJR)
- Journal de Radiologie
- Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology (JMIRO)
- Seminars in Roentgenology
- history of radiology meetings
history of radiology organizations
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR)
- Colegio Interamericano de Radiologia (CIR)
- European Society of Radiology (ESR)
- Fleischner Society
- International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)
- International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT)
- International Society of Radiology (ISR)
- pioneering radiology books
- Atlas of Normal Roentgen Variants That May Simulate Disease
- Reeder and Felson's Gamuts in Radiology
- Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist
- Roentgenology - The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram
- The Roentgen Rays in Medicine and Surgery as an Aid in Diagnosis and as a Therapeutic Agent
- Textbook of X-ray Diagnosis by British Authors