Mladen J. Kocica, MD

"We can not do great things, just small things with great love"


Opinions of others
Pertinent references
Photo album


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 painstaking individual 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.


  • 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 Austria.

  • 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 MYOKARDFUNKTION.

  • 1987 - Publishes, with several co-authors, the book: ESTRUCTURA Y MECANICA DEL CORAZON.

  • 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 the HVMB.

  • 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).

  • 2001 - 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.

  • 2002-2005 - Publishes a series of important papers about HVMB in world leading journals.

  • 2002-2005 - 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 Arrhythmia Myocardium” International Symposium.


Francisco (Paco) Torrent-Guasp

by Academician Vladimir I. Kanjuh

Serbian Academy of Scence and Arts, Belgrade

Presented on XVIII International Symposium on Morphological Sciences - June 2005, Belgrade.


"Francisco (Paco) 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 heart.
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."

Copyright © 2006 Mladen J. Kocica, MD. All rights reserved.