1 Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and research, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark
The English physiologist, Ernest Henry Starling (1866–1927) (Fig. 1) in 1896, provided a quantitative explanation of the transcapillary transport of fluid. Six years later, he discovered the first hormone and introduced the concept of hormones in 1905, and at the time of the First World War, he formulated the fundamental law on the mechanical effect of the mammalian heart 1–3. The transcapillary fluid transport, the hormone concept and the law of the heart all bear witness to a remarkable individual with an ability to interpret experimental data comprehensively and critically. All physicians today are trained in this fundamental physiological knowledge as a matter of course, but Starling’s numerous publications from 1890 to 1928 contributed considerably towards the transition of circulatory physiology from a qualitative discipline to a quantitative science. The present paper deals with Starling’s achievements in cardiovascular physiology and endocrinology.