Alban Köhler (1874-1947) was a German radiologist best known for both his work in describing avascular necrosis of the navicular (now known as Köhler disease) and the publication of ‘Roentgenology - The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram’ a textbook exploring anatomical variations and anomalies.
Alban Köhler was born on the 1March 1874 in Pesta, Thuringia to a primarily agriculturally-focused family. Rather than pursue a career in farming, Köhler undertook his medical studies in Berlin and Freiburg concluding in 1899. By 1902 he was a confirmed radiologist following three years of surgical training at St. Joseph's hospital, Wiesbaden.
He was one of the founding members of the German Roentgen society, subsequently becoming the Society's president in 1912.
Development of Borderlands
Köhler’s most notable work is his book titled 'Roentgenology - The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram'. First published in 1910, ‘Borderlands’ explored anatomical variations and anomalies using line drawings, a unique approach highly appreciated by all due to its ease of understanding. Having undergone 13 revisions, this textbook is still in print today.
Despite multiple offers from universities and larger hospitals, Köhler was happier as a private practitioner, the notion that he was able to conduct such extraordinary work as a private practitioner is a homage to his passion for the profession.
Alban Köhler died on the 26 February 1947 in the city of Wiesbaden.
- Rieder Gold Medal from the German Roentgen society for his work, ‘Roentgenology - The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram’
- 'Roentgenology The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram' (still in print, albeit with an updated title)
- described a practice of using the teleroentgenogram to the orthodiagram to describe the heart
- developed a method to locate foreign bodies in the eye
- pioneered cinematography of the lungs, and aortic arches
- first described the childhood-onset osteonecrosis of the navicular bone in the foot now known as Köhler disease