Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 7 (1932-33) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
Professor Lafaye at Versailles. 
Blood pressure of large domestic animals. While calling upon 
Professor Maignon he told me of a Professor Lafaye of Versailles 
who had developed as a part of his thesis an apparatus for determining 
the blood pressure of horses and cows. Realizing in our work at 
Durham the high metabolism of these animals and that for its explanation 
it needs a consideration of every physiological factor, I thought here 
perhaps we have the first satisfactory measurement of blood pressure 
without cannula in the artery. I made a special trip to Versailles 
and had a most interesting afternoon with Dr. Lafaye. The apparatus 
was a cuff that could be dilated by pressure and the pulsations of 
an oscillometer read. Dr, Lafaye was good enough to drive me some 
distance to a large breeding farm and there demonstrated on two 
horses and showed the practicability of this method. The apparatus 
was not quite ready for the market but I expect to hear from him 
before long. 
Of considerable interest to me was the fact that the horses 
reacted differently. For example, one of the horses that he 
measured was the greatest race horse in France and had won for his 
owner something like 2,000,000 francs. This horse stood quietly 
all through the blood pressure measurement as if it were a part of 
the day's work and entirely indifferent to the whole proceedings. 
On the other hand, rather a scrub horse danced and pranced around 
and showed the necessity of at least training the animals into these 
measurements. Finally the measurements were made without the 
slightest difficulty on a cow that had just come in from the fields, 
had never seen the operator or had the cuff adjusted on the leg. 
I was impressed more than ever before with the importance of 
the hydrostatic level in these blood pressure determinations. Thus, 
when the horse is standing and the point at which the measurement is 
made is on the leg right at the elbow, so to speak, there is 
considerable difference between the level and the heart at this 
particular point. Similarly they find large differences in blood 
pressure whether the animal is standing or lying. The same is true 
with regard to cows and hence measurements reported must include 
a record of the posture of the animal. The whole procedure seemed 
eminently satisfactory for Durham work and I hope to have it 
installed there in the near future.


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