Lives of the fellows

Keith Edmund Jefferson

b.18 April 1923 d.23 October 1977
MB BChir Cantab(1946) MA(1947) DCH(1949) DMRD(1950) MRCP(1950) FFR(1953) FRCP(1967) FRCR(1975)

Keith Jefferson was educated at Oundle School and studied medicine at Clare College, Cambridge, and Guy’s Hospital, qualifying in 1946. He served for a short while in the RAMC after holding house appointments at Guy’s Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, and at the Miller Hospital in Greenwich. After obtaining the DCH and the MRCP, he specialized in diagnostic radiology at St George’s Hospital. He was appointed a consultant at St George’s Hospital in 1956, and also in the same year at the Brompton Hospital.

During his radiology training Keith Jefferson had become interested in cardiac radiology, just as selective angiocardiography was becoming an accepted procedure. In the late 1950’s he visited the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and learned from Mason Sones the technique of selective coronary arteriography, bringing this knowledge and expertise back to England. Image intensification, which made cineradiography possible, was becoming available and he became one of the first radiologists to recognise the value of this tool in the diagnosis of cardiac lesions. He won the Barclay prize of the British Institute of Radiology in 1960 for his paper on Thoracic Aortography and Cineradiography of the Aortic Valve’.

Though he contributed to the radiology of chest diseases, especially interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, his main interest was in cardiac radiology, and he left the Brompton in 1963 to become director of the department of radiology at the National Heart Hospital. He established there a world-wide reputation as a clinical radiologist and teacher. He travelled abroad on lecture tours, particularly to South America, attracting radiologists from many lands to come to study at the National Heart Hospital, where he held regular tutorials.

With Simon Rees he wrote a book on Clinical Cardiac Radiology, which has become a classic on the subject. A part of the book is devoted to skeletal changes in heart disease, which was the subject of the St Cyres lecture he was honoured to give in 1971. He was a most kind and considerate man, having great patience in listening to others, and good sense in his advice. He was elected chairman of the medical committee of the National Heart Hospital for three years.

He was survived by his wife, Denys Marjorie, nee Green, whom he had married in 1962. They had no children.

IH Kerr

[Times, 9 Nov 1977; Brit.med.J., 1977, 2, 1360]

(Volume VII, page 299)

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