One hundred years of carotid body research
published in January - June 2022 - pH - issue n.1
José López-Barneo

Descriptions of the carotid body (CB) first appeared in the anatomical literature in the XVIII and XIX centuries, although under several different names (ganglium intercaroticum, glandula carotica, or glomus caroticum, among others) (Pick, 1959). However, the function of this organ was not discovered until the first third of the XX century, when several European scientists studied the carotid region as the origin of cardiorespiratory reflexes regulating heart rate and ventilation. The Italian physiologist Giuseppe Pagano (1872-1959) already proposed in 1900 that the zone “whose excitation can produce the slowdown or arrest of the heart is at the surface of the carotid artery near its bifurcation” (see historical account by A. Gallego in Belmonte et al., 1981).