[Léon Bouchacourt (1865-1949): How an obstetrician pointed out individual radiosensitivity]

Cancer Radiother. 2015 Dec;19(8):752-61. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2015.09.007. Epub 2015 Nov 12.
[Article in French]


Léon Bouchacourt (1865-1949) was a misknown pioneer of radiology and radiotherapy from Lyon, France. While he was resident in obstetrics in Hôpitaux de Paris from 1892 to 1898, he met Charcot, the future polar explorer, and wrote the first thesis dissertation about X-rays. He invented a new radiology technique for cavitary organs such as vagina, rectum and mouth, the endodiascopy, which permitted him to perform the first pelvimetry and dental radiographies in France. While he undertook the first trials of contact-radiotherapy, he was confronted with radiation-induced reactions. In 1911, he wrote the first paper about individual radiosensitivity. During the First World War, he commanded one of the radiology vehicles, he met Irène Curie and developed his « radiological helmet », which will hold his name and became essential for interventional radiology. After the war, with Béclère and ten others, Léon Bouchacourt funded the French Radiology Society. He ended his career by thinking about public health and the different aspects of the duties of radiologists.

Keywords: Bouchacourt; Individual radiosensitivity; Pionniers de la radiologie; Radiologie; Radiology; Radiology pioneers; Radiosensibilité individuelle.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • France
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Obstetrics / history*
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Radiology / history*

Personal name as subject

  • Léon Bouchacourt