Professor Manfred Hansmann was born 1936 in Kassel, Germany. He studied Medicine in Frankfurt from 1958 to 1960 and later on in Heidelberg until 1964 . He worked as a graduate student at the Nuclear Research Center at Karlsruhe and studied the distribution and elimination of radionuclides in the mammals. He attained a doctorate in 1964 at the Ruprecht Karl university in Heidelberg. His thesis was on the "Investigations on the behavior of radioactive cerium (144 Ce) in the liver cell of the rat". After this academy venture Hansmann started clinical duties at the Surgical hospital of the Duesseldorf Medical Academy under Professor Derra; the Solingen Hospitals with Professor Wendt and at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology departments of the Lukasklinik Solingen Ohligs with Dr. Froeling.
In October 1968 Hansmann moved to the University of Bonn working under Professor Plotz as a research assistant. He dealt with Obstetrical and perinatal problems with an emphasis on blood gas analysis and cardiotocography and later on ultrasonic diagnosis. Professor Plotz at that time had procured an ultrasound scanner in the department but at one point in time the machine could not be located. Professor Plotz requested Hansmann to look for the device in the hospital. After many days of the search Hansmann found the machine hidden under a laundry! From then on Hansmann's interest in ultrasonography grew.
Hanmann started with the biparietal diameter and placental localization. At the First World congress of ultrasonics in Vienna in June 1969, Hansmann presented his paper "A modified method for the determination of the biparietal diameter by ultrasound ". He was using the Siemens Vidoson at that time. In the same meeting in Vienna he became acquainted with Dr. Alfred Kratochwil from Austria and Hansmann visited his hospital in the same year. Subsequently he visited Professor Ian Donald's department in Glasgow and later on Stuart Campbell's department in London.
In 1971 Hansmann became the Head of the first Ultrasound Laboratory in Germany. In the same year he published important work on placental localization with B-scan and in the following year started to popularise the measurement of thoracic diameter as a measure of fetal growth. As the measurement was made at the level of the umbilical vein this was in fact a similar measurement to the abdominal circumference popularised by the Campbell group. He pointed out the value of a body measurement in the correlation with fetal weight. In the article "Topography of a reference plane for ultrasonic thoracometry" which appeared in the Z Geburtshilfe Perinatol in October 1976, H Kugener, the co-author, wrote, " ..... The fact that the umbilical vein running from the anterior abdominal wall to the ''sinus venae portae'' is visible in B-scan display is the given presupposition. In a study about topography of the vein system of the fetal liver in 50 cases the description of a so called ''sinus-plane'' for sonar thoracometry is given. This reference plane is shown to be identical with the ''lower apertura of the fetal thorax'' recommended by Hansmann and co-workers since 1971....... This is not only of theoretical interest but will improve the conditions for more accuracy and reproducibility of the method ...... ".
In 1971, Hansmann and his co-workers published seminal work on Intrauterine transfusion under ultrasound control and in the subsequent 5 years his department published various works on intrauterine growth retardation (a relatively new concept at the time), the fetal crown-rump length, fetal weight correlations and prenatal diagnosis of fetal malformations.
In 1978 he was appointed Professor and in 1984 Director of the Abteilung für Pränatale Diagnose und Therapie (Department for Prenatal diagnosis and therapy) at the Zentrum für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe (Center for woman medicine and birth assistance), University of Bonn, a position which he has held up to now. Hansmann was a great proponent of routine screening scans in pregnancy and together with B-Joachim Hacekeloer had influenced the German Government to adopt this approach since the late 1970s (1979). Germany implemented a two stage (second and third trimester) screening examinations and multi-levels of referrals. Many other countries who advocate routine scans in pregnancy are following on the examples of their German counterpart.
From the 1980s, Hansmann's department published numerous work on fetal morphology, intrauterine transfusion, intracardiac blood sampling and cordocentesis, and later on on doppler velocimetry, color flow mapping and more recently on 3-dimensional ultrasound. Many of their papers were published in the German language in Journals such as the Arch Gynakol, the Gynakole, Fortschr Med, Klin Wochenschr and the Z. Geburtschclfe Perinatol.
Professor Hansmann has been on the Editorial Board of many important journals, and is author and co-author of over 300 papers. He is author of the successful German textbook: "Textbook and atlas of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology". He was the president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ultraschall in der Medizin (DEGUM), the president of the German society for Prenatal and Birth Medicine, president of International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society (IFMSS), vice-president of the ISUOG (International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) as well as the Organising Chairman of many congresses in Bonn and in other places. He received numerous scientific honours: in 1987 he became an Honorary Fellow of the AIUM, in 1988 he received the Pioneer Award from the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB), in 1989 he received the Maternite prize from the German Society of Perinatologie, and in 1993 received the Ian Donald gold medal.... to name a few. Professor Hansmann is a salient figure in shaping the development and advancement of ultrasonography in Germany and indeed in other parts of the world.
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