Timeline of hematology

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This is a timeline of hematology, listing important events in the development of the field. Events related to transfusion are described in the Timeline of transfusion medicine.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
Ancient history “Blood letting” instruments are used in Ancient Egypt.[1]
17th century Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, using a primitive, single-lens microscope, already observes red blood cells (erythrocytes) and compared their size with that of a grain of sand.[2]
18th century English physiologist William Hewson is considered to be the "father of hematology". Hewson manages to amplify the description of red cells and demonstrates the role of fibrin in the clotting (coagulation) of blood.[3][2]
19th century Bone marrow is recognized as the site of blood-cell formation in the 19th century, along with the first clinical descriptions of pernicious anemia, leukemia, and a number of other disorders of the blood.[2]
20th century The discovery by Karl Landsteiner of the ABO blood group system in the first quarter of the 20th century makes possible the transfusion of blood from one person to another without the serious ill effects that ensue when incompatible blood is given. The study of the blood disease anemia gains impetus from the introduction of the hematocrit, an apparatus for determining the volume of red blood cells as compared with the volume of plasma, and the introduction in 1932 of a simple method of measuring the volume and hemoglobin. After World War II, the field of hematology broadens.[2] In the 1950s, plastic intra venous tubing replaces rubber tubing.[4][1] The 1960s is the decade in which most of the modern understanding of platelet funcion is initiated.[5] In the 1970s, the combination of several observational studies identifying a possible role for prophylactic platelet transfusion in hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia and the discovery that platelets are best stored at room temperature with gentle agitation to preserve function allow for the proliferation of platelet transfusions as part of standard management of patients receiving chemotherapy.[6] In the 1980s, the emergence of HIV renews impetus for development of infection-safe blood substitutes.[7]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Location
3255 BC The oldest intact red blood cells ever discovered are found in Ötzi, a natural mummy of a man who died around that time.[8]
460 BC – 377 BC Field development Greek physician Hippocrates teaches the humoral theory, a hypothetical system to explain illness in which balance equals health, and excess or deficiency equals illness.[1] Greece
1616 Field development English physician William Harvey discovers blood pathways. Since then many people try to use fluids such as beer, urine, milk, and non-human animal blood as blood substitute.[9] United Kingdom
1628 Field development English physician William Harvey publishes Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals), which demonstrates the concept of blood circulation.[5] United Kingdom
1642 Scientific development Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek constructs a microscope and distinguishes blood cells.[1] Netherlands
1656 Field development English anatomist Christopher Wren gives the first intravenous injection in animals.[1] United Kingdom
1658 Field development Dutch biologist Jan Swammerdam first describes red blood cells by means of the use of an early microscope to study the blood of a frog.
1662 Field development J. C. Major gives the first intravenous injection in humans.[1]
1665 Field development English physician Richard Lower performs the first documented blood transfusion using dogs and notes a color difference between veins and arteries.[6][1] United Kingdom
1666 Field development Italian physician Marcello Malpighi notices that fiber filaments remain in a blood clot after it is thoroughly washed.[10] Italy
1667 Field development French physician Jean-Baptiste Denys and Richard Lower separately report giving the first human blood transfusion with blood fromlambs. Within 10 years, transfusing the blood of animals to humans becomes prohibited by law, delaying transfusion advances for about 150 years.[1] France, United Kingdom
1674 Field development Pioneer microscopist Anton van Leeuwenhoek writes his own description of human red blood cells.[11] Netherlands
1675 Field development Anton van Leeuwenhoek makes the remarkable discovery that "those sanguineous globules in a healthy body must be very flexible and pliant, if they are to pass through the small capillary veins and arteries, and that in their passage they change into an oval figure, reassuming their roundness when they come into a larger room."[11] Netherlands
1770 Field development British surgeon William Hewson describes leukocytes and some essential clottingfactors. Hewson becomes known as “the father of hematology.”[1]
1771 Literature William Hewson publishes Experimental Inquiry into the Properties of the Blood.[5] United Kingdom
1795 Field development American physician Philip Syng Physick claims to perform the first human-to-human blood transfusion, although he does not publish this information.[1]
1821 – 1902 Field development German physician Rudolf Virchow disproves a prominent view that phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) causes most diseases. Virchow demonstrates that masses in the blood vessels result from “thrombosis” (his term) and that portions of a thrombus could become detached to form an “embolus” (also his term).[12] Germany
1827 Literature Amateur British opticist Joseph Jackson Lister and fellow Quaker Dr Thomas Hodgkin publish Notice of some Microscopic Observations of the Blood and Animal Tissues.[5] United Kingdom
1830 Instrumental The gold-plated steel needle for intravenous use is invented.[4]
1840 Field development English surgeon Samuel Armstrong Lane performs the first successful whole blood transfusion to treat hemophilia.[13][14][15][16] United Kingdom
1840s Field development English anatomist George Gulliver publishes early illustrations of platelets.[5] United Kingdom
1842 Field development French microscopist Alexandre Donné identifies platelets.[17][18]
1867 Field development British surgeon Joseph Lister uses antiseptics to control infection during transfusions.[1] United Kingdom
1875 Field development Zahn reports that an injured blood vessel is eventually plugged by a fibrin-associated white thrombus. This observation leads to the discovery that platelets are responsible for contributing fibrin in the blood coagulation process.[10]
1877 Field development German-Jewish physician Paul Ehrlich develops techniques to stain blood cells to improve microscopic visualization.[19] Germany
1882 Field development Italian medical researcher Giulio Bizzozero describes blood platelets.[20][5] Italy
1897 Literature American pediatrician Luther Emmett Holt publishes The Diseases of Infancy and Childhood, which includes a 20-page chapter on diseases of the blood and is the first American pediatric medical textbook to provide significant hematologic information.[19][21] United States
1901 Field development Austrian biologist Karl Landsteiner and his associates discover the ABO blood group system, and define the different blood groups: A, B, AB, and O. Such names refer to the different kinds of antigens on the surface of the red blood cell.[22][23][24][25]
1902 Field development Alfred Decastello and Adriano Sturli add bloodtype AB to the classification system.[26]
1904 Literature Folia Haematologica is established in Germany. It is the first hematology journal in the world.[27] Germany
1906 Field development James Wright describes the bone marrow and megakaryocyte origin of platelets.[5]
1907 Field development American pathologist Ludvig Hektoen from Chicago, explains the significance of isoagglutinins in human blood and how the untoward reactions are related to them.[28][19] United States
1908 Field development American haematologist Reuben Ottenberg develops clinical methods for typing bloods.[28] United States
1910 Field development Sickle cell disease is first described.[29]
1910 Field development Duke notes that transfusions reduce the bleeding time. After this, transfusions become recognized as successful therapeutic hemostatic intervensions.[6]
1914 Field development American scientist, Richard Lewisohn, discovers that sodium citrate can be added to blood to stop it clotting.[30][25][19]
1918 Field development The use of blood plasma as a substitute for whole blood and for transfusion purposes is proposed by Gordon R. Ward. The use of blood plasma as a substitute for whole blood and for transfusion purposes was proposed in the same year, in the correspondence columns of the British Medical Journal. United Kingdom
1920 Field development The investigation of the role of food substances in the production of red blood cells is launched. It would lead to discovery of the beneficial effects of liver extract in treating pernicious anemia and ultimately to the discovery of vitamin B12, the anti-anemic principle of liver.[2]
1920 Literature Journal Haematologica is first published.[31][32] It is the second in the world to be released.[27] Italy
1924 Literature Pediatrics becomes the first comprehensive American publication on pediatric hematology.[19]
1925 Field development Canadian physician Alfred P. Hart introduces exsanguination ("exchange") transfusion to treat severe neonatal jaundice.[33][34][35][19]
1925 Field development American pediatrician Thomas Benton Cooley describes a Mediterranean hematologic syndrome of anemia, erythroblastosis, skeletal disorders, and splenomegaly that is later called Cooley’s anemia and now thalassemia.[19]
1927 Field development The P blood group system is discovered.[36] It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37]
1927 Organization The French Society of Hematology is formed. It is the first hematology organization in the world.[27] France
1927 Literature Journal La Sang is released in France.[27] France
1927 Field development Karl Landsteiner and Philip Levine discover the MNS antigen system, after immunizing rabbits with human red blood cells.[38] It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37]
1932 Field development A simple method of measuring the volume and hemoglobin is introduced.[2]
1933 Field development The formation of cryoprecipitate is first observed in relation to a patient with multiple myeloma.[39]
1935 Field development Danish biochemist Carl Peter Henrik Dam finds that bleeding in chicks that developed an excessive bleeding disorder in response to synthetic diets, do not occur if their synthetic chow was replaced with one fortified with a specific vitamin. Dam labels this antihemorrhagic agent “vitamin K” and establishes its essential role in normal blood coagulation.[10] Denmark
1936 Organization The World's first blood bank opens in Chicago.[40][41][25] United States
1936 Field development American hematologist John H. Lawrence of the University of California, Berkeley introduces phosphorus-32 for the treatment of leukemia.[42][43][44] United States
1937 Organization The Japanese Society of Hematology (JSH) is founded in Kyoto. It is the second hematology organization in the world.[45][27] Japan
1937 Field development Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener identify the Rh factor (an abbreviation of "Rhesus factor") in blood.[13] The Rhesus-system is the second most important blood group system after ABO.[46]
1938 Literature Journal Acta Haematologica Japonica is established. In 1991, it would be renamed International Journal of Hematology.[27] Japan
1938 Field development American pediatricians {Louis Diamond (known as the “father of American pediatric hematology”) and Kenneth Blackfan describe the anemia still known as Diamond-Blackfan anemia.[19] United States
1941 Literature Blackfan, Diamond, and Leister publish The Atlas of the Blood of Children.[19]
1945 Field development Robin Coombs, Arthur Mourant and Rob Race describe the use of antihuman globulin (later known as the “Coombs Test”) to identify “incomplete” antibodies.[19]
1945 Field development Antigen Lua, the first in the Lutheran antigen system, is found in the serum of a patient with lupus erythematosus.[47] Antibodies against this blood group are rare and generally not considered clinically significant.[46]
1946 Literature Journal Blood is established by William Dameshek.[48]
1946–1948 Field development The Lewis blood group system is identified. It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37] Consisting in antigens Lea and Leb, the second reaches a frequency of 70 percent in Europeans.[49]
1946 Field development Austro-Hungarian biochemist Erwin Chargaff and Randolph West discover that platelet-free plasma exhibits clotting properties.[10]
1946 Field development The Kell blood group system is discovered.[50] It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37] These erythrocyte antigens are the third most potent immunogenic antigen after ABO and Rh system.[46]
1947 Field development Lerner and Watson introduce the term "cryoglobulin", demonstrating the reversibility of the phenomenon when the sera are heated to 37°C.[39]
1947 Field development Australian serologist Ruth Ann Sanger and Robert Russell Race identify the S and s genes.[26]
1950s Instrumental The “butterfly” needle and intercath are developed, making intravenous access easier and safer.[19]
1950 Organization The Society for Hematology and Stem Cells is founded by a group of scientists for the presentation and discussion of experimental hematology pre-clinical data.[51]
1950 Field development The Duffy antigen system is discovered.[38] It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37]
1951 Field development The Kidd blood group system is discovered.[52] It is considered among the major blood group systems.[37] Kidd antibodies are rare but can cause severe transfusion reactions.[46]
1952 Field development Hh blood group (also known as Oh or the Bombay blood group) is first discovered in Bombay (Mumbai), India.[53] It is a very rare histo-blood group phenotype.[54] India
1954 Field development The blood product cryoprecipitate is developed to treat bleeds in people with hemophilia.[19]
1954 Field development Peterman and Braunsteiner report cryoprecipitates of immunoglobulins with different sedimentation rates, thus introducing the concept of "mixed cryoglobulinaemia".[39]
1955 Literature The British Journal of Haematology is launched.[55][56] United Kingdom
1955 Field development The Diego antigen system is discovered.[38] It is very rare among [[w:caucasian race|Caucasians}} and Blacks, but relatively common among the South American Indians and Asians of Mongolian origin.[57] Venezuela
1958 Organization The American Society of Hematology is founded.[58][59] United States
1959 Field development Austrian-born British molecular biologist Max Perutz uses X-ray crystallography to determine the overall structure of hemoglobin.[60][61][62][63]
1959 Organization The Japanese Society of Clinical Hematology is established in Tokyo.[27] Japan
1960 Organization The British Society for Haematology is founded.[64] United Kingdom
1960 Field development The Gerbich blood group system is discovered.[65]
1961 Field development Researchers identify role of platelets in treating cancer patients.[66][25]
1962 Field development At an International Committee on Blood Clotting Factors conference in Stockholm, English hematologist Robert Gwyn Macfarlane of Oxford and American researcher Oscar Ratnoff propose that the coagulation process involves an enzyme acting on its substrate to make it an active enzyme, which subsequently acts on its own distinct substrate. This type of enzymatic activation continues down a line of substrates before coagulation is achieved.[10] Sweden
1962 Field development The Xg antigen system is discovered by Mann in the serum of a multiply transfused male.[65]
1962 Field development The first antihemophilic factor concentrate to treat coagulation disorders in hemophilia patients is developed through fractionation.[19]
1962 Field development Researchers at CSL Behring develop a new plasma fractionation method that provides significantly better yields of the valuable proteins isolated from human plasma.[67]
1962 Field development Platelet transfusion begins to be used more routinely, especially in cancer patients when the relationship between thrombocytopenia and hemorrage is noted.[6]
1965 Field development The Cromer blood group system is discovered.[65]
1965 Field development The first antibody of the Dombrock system is identified.[68]
1967 Organization The Turkish Society of Hematology is founded.[69] Turkey
1967 Field development Peter Wolf first identifies microparticles as a product of platelets.[10]
1967 Field development The Colton blood group system is identified.[70]
1968 Field development Rh immune globulin (RhIg) is first licensed as a human plasma-derived product consisting of IgG antibodies to the D antigen. It is used to prevent immunization to the D antigen in D-negative individuals and for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).[71]
1970 Field development Webber and Johnson find that platelet alpha granule contents are encompassed into vesicles, which come together to form a membrane complex at the surface of the platelet.[10]
1972 Literature Journal Experimental Hematology is launched by the International Society for Experimental Hematology, incorporated the same year as the continuation of the Society for Hematology and Stem Cells.[72]
1974 Literature Davis Nathan and Stuart Oski publish Hematology of Infancy and Childhood.[19]
1974 Field development The Scianna blood group system is established.[73] Composed of three antigens, the first, Sc1, a high frequency antigen, is found in greater than 99 % of most populations. The frequency of Sc2 is about 1% of Northern Europeans but the frequency is much lower in other populations. The incidence of Sc:1,2 is more common in Mennonites.[74]
1975 Literature Journal Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases is established.[75]
1976 Literature The American Journal of Hematology is established.[76] United States
1977 Field development Kitamura first observes that mast cells are derived from hematopoietic stem cells shown by transplantation of bone marrow cells from mutant mice.[27] Japan
1977 Field development Miyake et al first purify erythropoietin.[27] Japan
1978 Field development The Duclos antigen is identified.[77]
1970s Field development Alan T. Nurden, Jacques P. Caen, David R. Phillips, and others describe the molecular basis of platelet aggregation.[20]
1980 Field development The ISBT Working Party on Terminology for Red Cell Surface Antigens is established with the goal of creating a uniform nomenclature.[65]
1980 Field development Molecular biology is applied to the study of blood groups.[78]
1981 Organization The American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is founded.[79][80] United States
1983 Field development Doctors in France and the United States discover the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).[25] United States, France
1986 Field development Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is cloned independently in Japan.[27] Japan
1986 Field development The Ola antigen is identified.[77] A rare blood group antigen, Only one Ola+ person was found among the 7, 151 blood donors tested.[81]
1987 Literature Journal Blood Reviews is established.[82]
1990s Field development Recombinant factor replacement products are used to treat hemophilia.[25]
1990 Field development The Er blood group collection is established as a blood group.[83]
1990 Literature Peer-reviewed medical journal Platelets is first issued.[84]
1991 Field development The Knops blood group system is established.[65] Most of the anigens of this system are common, occurring with a prevalence of >90% in most populations.[85]
1992 Organization The International Society for Laboratory Hematology is founded by an international group of laboratory professionals in order to chart new directions for laboratory hematology.[86]
1992 Organization The European Hematology Association is founded in Brussels.[87] Belgium
1994 Field development Researchers investigating the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation on monocyte procoagulant activity, reveal that the microparticles released by stimulated human monocytes possess more tissue factor activity than their parent monocytes.[10]
2002 Field development The GIL blood group system is established.[88] It is designated as system 29.[89]
2008 Literature Journal Expert Review of Hematology is released.[90]
2008 Literature The Open Hematology Journal is released.[91]
2008 Field development The RHAg (Rh-associated glycoprotein) is established as a blood group system.[77]
2011 Field development The FORS blood group system is established as the 31st blood group system.[92][93]

Numerical and visual data

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of June 5, 2021.

Year hematology hematology oncology pediatric hematology hematopathology
1980 7,590 2,670 698 60
1985 9,060 4,160 1,230 85
1990 11,500 5,600 1,630 112
1995 18,500 8,360 2,600 276
2000 46,300 13,900 5,190 412
2002 52,100 14,700 5,470 521
2004 64,500 20,000 6,690 547
2006 73,300 22,800 7,920 609
2008 88,400 33,100 9,790 707
2010 96,500 31,800 10,900 722
2012 108,000 41,500 13,900 1,120
2014 110,000 40,900 15,300 1,080
2016 107,000 47,000 17,400 1,310
2017 102,000 48,100 18,200 1,200
2018 93,500 47,500 18,900 1,340
2019 83,500 45,000 19,900 1,520
2020 56,400 32,200 22,800 1,330
Hematology tb.png

Google Trends

The comparative chart below shows Google Trends data for Hematology (Branch of medicine) and Hematology (Search term) from January 2004 to February 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[94]

Hematology gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Hematology from 1600 to 2019.[95]

Hematology ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Hematology, on desktop, mobile-web, desktop-spider, mobile-web-spider and mobile app, from July 2015 to January 2021.[96]

Hematology wv.jpg

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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