Hubert von Luschka (1820–1875): his life, discoveries, and contributions to our understanding of the nervous system

Historical vignette

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One of the most prolific anatomical writers of the 19th century, Hubert von Luschka made significant contributions to our knowledge of neuroanatomy. His publications and textbooks were standards for their day. However, very little is written of his life in either the English or the German literature. His name lives on eponymously in more than 20 anatomical structures, including those most relevant to the neurosurgeon, the foramina of Luschka and uncovertebral joints. In this article, the authors discuss the life and contributions of this prominent German surgeon and anatomist.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: R. Shane Tubbs, M.S., P.A.-C., Ph.D., Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital, 1600 7th Avenue South, ACC 400, Birmingham, Alabama 35233. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online September 24, 2010; DOI: 10.3171/2010.8.JNS10683.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



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    Hubert von Luschka (1820–1875). All figures are from Luschka H: Die Anatomie des Menschen in Rücksicht auf die Bedürfnisse der praktischen Heilkunde. Tübingen: H. Laupp, 1862–1869. Courtesy of the University of Tübingen.

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    Anatomical Institute at Tübingen during von Luschka's day. Courtesy of the University of Tübingen.

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    Illustration demonstrating the lateral apertures (foramina of Luschka) of the fourth ventricle.

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    Illustration of the uncovertebral joints (indicated by b) as discovered by Luschka.



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