Thorac cardiovasc Surg 2014; 62(08): 656-661
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1370764
Special Report
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Bernoulli in the Operating Room: From the Perspective of a Cardiac Surgeon

Peter Matt
1  Division of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

05 August 2013

19 December 2013

Publication Date:
01 May 2014 (eFirst)


The Bernoullis were one of the most distinguished families in the history of science. It was Daniel Bernoulli who applied mathematical physics to medicine to further his understanding of physiological mechanisms that have an impact even in today's high-end medicine. His masterwork was the analysis of fluid dynamics, which resulted in Bernoulli's law. Most important for cardiac surgery, it describes how a centrifugal pump works within an extracorporeal circulation, lays the basis for measuring a gradient over a stenotic heart valve, and explains how to measure the transit time flow within a bypass graft.