Mayor events in Fancisco
Torrent-Guasp’s life and career (chronologically):
1931 - Born at Gandia,
Valencia, October 7th, 1931.
1954 - Being a fourth
year medical student, publishes his first monograph,
EL CICLO CARDIACO.
1955 - Graduates Medical
School at Complutensis University of Madrid and
University of Salamanca.
1957 - Appears his second
monograph, ANATOMIA FUNCIONAL DEL CORAZON.
1959 - Receives the
educational grant from the American Heart Association
and Public Health Service and develops experimental
work at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
of the Eugene Talmadge Hospital (Augusta, Georgia).
Publishes his third monograph, AN EXPERIMENTAL
APPROACH ON HEART DYNAMICS.
1960 - Begins private
cardiological practice in Dénia (Alicante, Spain).
Raising his family, he continues
research and publishes several articles in the journal
of the Spanish Society of Cardiology.
1970 - Publishes the
monograph, THE ELECTRICAL CIRCULATION, and several
articles in different journals. In this and successive
years he was invited to give a talks in many
universities and hospitals in Europe (London Guy´s
Hospital and National Heart Hospital, Stockholm,
Freiburg, Goethenburg, Amsterdam, Leyden, Hanover,
Paris, Milan, Rome) and USA (Boston – University of
Harvard, New York –Mount Sinai Hospital, Philadelphia,
Charleston, Birmingham, Saint Louis, Toledo, Chicago,
Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego,
Portland, Seattle, Rochester - Mayo Clinic). His early
findings appear in the Gray’s Anatomy and are
published in Circulation with Daniel D. Streeter.
1975 - Unravels the
HELICAL VENTRICULAR MYOCARDIAL BAND (HVMB).
1978 - Receives the
"Miguel Servet Prize" for his long and meritorious
scientific research line.
1978 - Nominated for The
Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology upon
recommendation of HM Queen Sophia of Spain, The
Science and Education Ministry of Spanish Government
and Archduke Andres Salvador Hapsburg-Lorena of
1979 - HVMB was
mathematically studied by Daniel D. Streeter, who
published these results, with HVMB photographs and
drawings in the Handbook of Physiology.
1980 - Publishes the
results of his work in seminal paper in the Revista
Española de Cardiología.
1985 - Gives a series of
lectures at the University of Berlin and publishes a
book in Germany with Prof. Peter P. Lunkenheimer:
KARDIODYNAMIK: WEGE ZUR STRUKTURGERECHTEN ANALYSE DER
1987 - Publishes, with
several co-authors, the book: ESTRUCTURA Y MECANICA
1995 - In 1995, under the
Patronage of the European Society of Cardiology, the
First Workshop on Cardiac Structure and Performance
takes place in Alicante, dedicated to the anatomical
and physiological implications of the HVMB.
1996 - Receives the Gold
Medal of the Spanish Society of Cardiology.
1997 - Publishes several
papers about mechanical and electrical physiology of
1999 - Becomes the Member
of the Real Academia de Medicina de Cádiz.
2000 - Gives a series of
invited lectures about HVMB structure and
function worldwide: USA (UCLA - California, CalTech -
Pasadena, UC Georgetown - Washington), Europe (Monaco
- Centre Cardiothoracique, Madrid - Hospital Clínico,
Italy - Rome and Pescara, Serbia -
UC Belgrade) and Japan (UC
Kyoto, Hayama heart centre).
The American Association of
Thoracic Surgeons (AATS) publishes a
special, monographic issue,
in the SEMINARS IN THORACIC
AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY (Vol 13, No 4, October),
dedicated to anatomical, functional and
clinical implications of the HVMB.
2002 - National Institute
of Health (Bethesda, Maryland,
USA) organizes a
Workshop, FORM AND FUNCTION: NEW VIEWS ON DEVELOPMENT,
DISEASE AND THERAPIES FOR THE HEART. More than 30
American and European experts
participated in defining research activities and
prospects of HVMB concept.
- Publishes a series of important papers
about HVMB in world
- Participates in development of different
experimental studies on
anatomy, physiology, mathematical modeling and
clinical implications of the HVMB: Institute
for Cardiovascular Diseases, Belgrade, Serbia, (Dr.
Kocica, Prof. Kanjuh, Prof. Lackovic), University of
Liverpool Alder Hey Royal
Children Hospital (Dr A. Corno), Hospital La Fe,
Valencia (Prof. Juan Cosín), University of Pittsburgh
(Dr R. Bazaz), Univerity of Lleida (Prof. Ballester),
Hospital of Sant Pau, Barcelona (Drs. A. Flotats and
F. Carreras), UC Georgetown
Washington (Prof. J. Cox),
California Institute of Technology (Prof. M. Gharib),
University of Kyoto (Prof. M. Komeda),
UC Federal de Bahia, Brazil (Prof. Clotario N.C.
Cueva), UC Dundee, Scotland (Dr. Moghbel)...
2005 - Died on February
25th 2005 - only few hours
after his brilliant
lecture at “Madrid
by Academician Vladimir I. Kanjuh
Serbian Academy of Scence and Arts,
Presented on XVIII
International Symposium on Morphological Sciences
- June 2005, Belgrade.
Torrent-Guasp, was born on October the 7th, 1931 in
Gandía (Valencia. Spain). He was a medical student at
Salamanca and Complutensis Madrid Universities (Spain)
from 1950 to 1955, where he becomes doctor on Medicine
and Surgery. As the 4th year medical student, working
with Prof. Luis Gómez-Oliveros, he starts anatomical
investigations about the structure and function of the
A work that he will continue for more than 25 years,
performing dissections on more than 1000 hearts of
different species, will led to his description of the
HELICAL VENTRICULAR MYOCARDIAL BAND in 1972, which
presents a revolutionary new concept of heart
structure and function. This concept is said to be the
most relevant event, since the discovery of
circulation, assigned to William Harvey.
Torrent-Guasp’s comprehensive work was awarded with
The Miguel Servet Prize (1978) and with an official
nomination for The Nobel Prize in Medicine and
Physiology (1978). During a half century of dedication
and painstaking work on heart structure and function,
he has published numerous books, papers, and gave more
than one hundred lectures worldwide.
Paco had very special relations with our country. He
and his beautiful wife Mrs. Teresa Boluda-Molla, were
three times our dear guest. His first visit to
Belgrade was in 2000, when
he was invited to expose his HELICAL VENTRICULAR
MYOCARDIAL BAND concept at
the Symposium on “Partial Left Ventriculectomy”.
Soon after, Prof. Torrent-Guasp has established a
close cooperation with Dr.
Mladen Kocica, a cardiac surgeon at Institute for
Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Centre of Serbia.
This relation has evolved into beautiful friendship
and fruitful scientific collaboration. Dr.
Kocica has become the closest associate and the
principal successor of Prof. Torrent-Guasp’s work.
Being pleased with the interest for his work here, in
Serbia, Prof. Torrent-Guasp has
established a lots of
professional and personal relationships. He came back
here twice, after 2000.
The second time, he was
invited lecturer, along with Academician Prof. Pedro
Zarco-Gutieres at the “First Annual Meeting of the
Serbian Society for Cardiovascular Surgery”. During
this visit, he also held an invited lecture at
Belgrade Medical School and initiated collaboration
with the Board of Cardiovascular Pathology at Serbian
Academy of Science and Arts. Not only on a behalf of
above mentioned institutions, but also as his personal
friend and the great admirer of his work, I was happy
because we were able to work together and to develop
the plans for several important research projects.
The last time, Paco and
Teresa were here, in Belgrade, during the “Second
Congress of the Society for the Atherosclerosis of
Serbia and Montenegro”. Key note lecture that he held,
has again provoked great interest among all
participants. Unfortunately, that was the last time we
were able to be with him.
Prof. Francisco Torrent-Guasp died suddenly on
February 25th 2005, only few hours after his
successful presentation, held on International meeting
in “Madrid Arrhythmia Myocardium”. He has left us
Helical Ventricular Myocardial Band – “Torrent Guasp’s
heart” - as well as beautiful memories of his
extraordinary mind and bright spirit. His rubber model
of the Helical Ventricular Myocardial Band is not a
merely gift for us, but
rather the symbol of our friendship and cooperation.
The knowledge we have received from Paco, and the
papers we have published together, would always keep
him with us.
Let me be allowed to expose here, in brief, some
aspects of his paramount discovery.
The heart was thought to have a helical structure for
500 years. However, unwinding the structure to define
this configuration has not been possible until
Francisco Torrent-Guasp has demonstrated that the
ventricles of the heart could be unraveled into single
muscular band, with the pulmonary artery and the aorta
at its ends. Principle rule,
during the anatomical dissections of this band, was to
follow predominant fiber orientation. Daniel Denison
Streeter – the author of seminal papers about heart
structure and function, was amazed with
Torrent-Guasp’s dissections, and rare people know that
in one of his most cited articles (“Gross Morphology
and Fiber Geometry of the Heart”) – almost all heart
specimens were, in fact, figures of Torrent-Guasp’s
dissections. By solving the
“Gordian Knot of Anatomy”, as James Bell Pettigrew
described the myocardial fiber architecture,
Torrent-Guasp introduced the
HELICAL VENTRICULAR MYOCARDIAL BAND
to the scientific community. Re-scrolling this
cardiac structure into its natural biologic
configuration shows two loops that are termed a
transverse basal loop which is an external buttress
embracing the left and right ventricles, and an
oblique apical loop containing a “figure of eight”
configuration that forms a helix within
a conical apex. This helical shape causes the twisting
and untwisting of heart muscle to allow for both the
ejection of blood, and suction for cardiac filling.
The power of this structure is the simplicity of
formation, as these sequential actions follow each
other before the next heart beat. Disruption of this
normal shape relationship occurs when the conical (or
elliptical) heart becomes a sphere. Such distortion of
the normal geometric form occurs in
patients with congestive heart failure.
Those were just few snap-shots from his work, which
would be fully exposed to the participants at XVIII
International Symposium on Morphological Sciences."