Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne, Mb, Chb, FFR., DMRD, FRCR
(1929 - 2013)

Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne Mb, Chb, FFR., DMRD, FRCR

Scotland, United Kingdom
February 8, 1929

December 16, 2013

This site is dedicated to Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne.

"I would like every body to know what a good, rich, fulfilling life I had.....I did not really expect to reach old age, but advances in medicine have helped me to do so....and I am very happy to know that I have contributed to the improvements in diagnosis and knowledge by my new observations, never made before...

A Perth Academy boy..more reknowned for chasing girls and boxing than winnng academic awards wind up one of the most distinguished chest radiologists in the world gives me deep satisfaction......

This life has been good.....I have no idea whether there will be others to come..but I am open to that belief and hope it will comfort those left behind, and partly assuage their grief...
Celebrate the rich life that I have had and do not mourn for me...I am happy."

Dr. Eric NC Milne 2013

Obituary of Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne, M.B., Ch.B. (see below for professional achievements)

Dr. Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne (s. of Margaret Nightingale Campbell (1900-1983) and Dr. G. Gordon Milne (1894-1942), s. of Dr. Robert Milne of Barnardo's Homes) passed away peacefully on 16 December 2013, at the age of 84, in Bangkok, Thailand after sustained and recurring illness. A proud Scot, born in Perth, Scotland in 1929, he attended Perth Academy, then did a tour with the Gordon Highlanders in the Mid-east, and in East Africa after the Partitioning of Palestine (during which he came under fire). In Egypt, by complete accident, he discovered Gray's Anatomy, and, amazed by what it showed him, applied to Edinburgh University medical school, and his career was set. At Edinburgh University he met and got engaged to another medical student, Norah Symington of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. They were married in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in December 1953. Following residencies in the U.S., they lived for a few years in Edinburgh, then with their expanding family moved a number of times over the years, mostly in North America.
A professor of medicine and world authority on chest radiology, as well as a respected teacher, author, editor and racconteur, Dr. Milne founded the Radiological Research Institute of the University of Toronto, the Journal of Thoracic Medicine, co-founded the Fleischner Society, and took over the chair of the fledgling Radiology Department at the University of California, Irvine in 1975. Long after his retirement he was still writing and reviewing research publications, even in the final months of his illness.
He was a world traveller with a great taste for life and adventure. An enthusiastic amateur pianist, he loved classical music as well as Dixieland jazz and ragtime, not to mention great paintings, fine objets-d'art, and wines, and his home was both intellectually and aesthetically rich. From his early years he was an excellent amateur photographer, as well as an accomplished sketch artist, and told of making his own lenses and films in Scotland after the war. He was also adept with his hands and made some very fine models, as well as some of the tools needed for them. He was a loving father and husband, very proud and protective of his family, though his great will and force of personality (he would not care to see those omitted!) could often seem very formidable, especially when confronted with inadequate logic, poor research, or weak excuses. He wanted a big family and to have it close. He loved boating and fishing, and the family spent memorable holidays doing both. To his children he taught some of his own skills in photography, music, boating and more. In 1997 he remarried, to Anne Tuanjai Pho-Ong of Nakhon Sawan, Thailand. He had wished for most of his life ultimately to return to Scotland, and he and Anne did so: for some years they alternated between Thailand and Scotland, building homes in both, before at last settling permanently in Thailand among Anne's family.
Eric Milne was the younger of two brothers. His elder brother, Denys “Tiny” Gordon Milne, C.B.E. (1926-2000), was an Oxford graduate and ex-RAF reserve officer who started in colonial administration in Africa and became a company director for British Petroleum, where he help lead massive re- organisations such as splitting out Shell Oil, in the course of which he returned to England in 1975. He retired early to the south of England to enjoy his boat, his cars, and travel with his family.
Eric Milne came of large and prominent families on both parents' sides, though growing up with his mother's family (Campbells) in Perthshire left him remote from the London-based Milnes. His mother's siblings included Col. Sir Alexander Campbell, M.C. (M.A. in English), architect of a post-WWII educational system for Burma (warmly remembered as “Uncle Sandy”); Robert Campbell, O.B.E., Comptroller of Labour for Scotland (“Uncle Bob”); and Christina Ross Campbell, M.B.E. (“Auntie Chris”), gratefully remembered as paying for his music lessons. His father's siblings included some heavily involved with the then- Dr. Barnardo's Homes for Children, including Drs. Robert Jr. (“Bobby”) and James Alexander Milne, and a very prominent figure in the evolution of nursing, Mary Elizabeth Gordon Milne, O.B.E.. Robert Milne Jr's son Dr. Robert Ian Milne became a Crown Coroner for south London.

Eric Milne is survived by his wife, Anne Tuanjai Milne, and her children and their spouses (Apple Thiwalai (Morrome “Rome” Khaopoo) and Supakchaya “Panida” Thiwalai (Barbeer Ban Krut) ); by his former wife, Dr. Norah Milne, their surviving children (Alastair Gordon Marston, Eric Steven, and Penelope Marion) and one granddaughter (Norah Marie); by his half-sister, Dr. Mary Gordon Milne McRae, former state archivist of Tasmania, linguist and pianist; by cousins including Beatrice “Beta” Margaret Campbell Cahalan (d. of his Uncle Sandy), Glenda Campbell of Perthshire, and numerous descendants of his cousin Dr. Robert Ian Milne, Crown Coroner, s. of Eric's uncle Dr. Robert Milne Jr; and by Pamela Mary Senior Milne (widow of his brother Denys) and their children and grandchildren.
Eric Milne was pre-deceased by his two youngest sons, Christopher John and Peter John Campbell, to whom memorials remain at his last home in Scotland.

Professional Achievements -- authored by Dr. Massimo Pistolesi

Knowing Eric, working with him for a long time and becoming his friend has been quite a great pleasure and at the same time the most important determinant of my whole career of chest physician with a special interest on imaging.

Professor Eric Nightingale Campbell Milne (1929-2013) was one of the most known chest radiologists of the last fifty years and, without doubt, he is absolutely the most renowned chest radiologists on the field of extracting physiologic quantitative information from the plain chest radiograph.
If I should make a list of his areas of excellence, I must start with 1) his special mental power in developing brilliant innovative research hypotheses, followed by 2) his outstanding capacity to set-up and carry out experimental research protocols to demonstrate the validity of his original thinking, 3) his impressive ability to translate the results of his research activity in the everyday clinical practice and 4) his extraordinary capacity in the teaching to students, fellows, and colleagues. In the area of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of cardiopulmonary diseases and in the care of sick human beings, Eric Milne has excelled in roles spanning from 1) team leader in important research projects published in numerous peer-reviewed international journals, to 2) Professor of Radiology in prestigious university institutions, 3) excellent clinical problems solver, and eventually, 4) the world most famous lecturer in the physiologic interpretation of the plain chest radiograph.

Throughout his life-long scientific and clinical career in various institutions in the UK, USA, and Canada, Eric Milne has been always rewarded as a leading researcher, a passionate teacher, and a dedicated clinician. The results of his innovative scientific research are tightly connected with the practical achievements reached in the care of patients.
His research activity has indeed led him to the discovery of some of the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the interactions between heart and lung in common clinical conditions such as left heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, cardiogenic and non cardiogenic pulmonary edema, renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Eric Milne has been able to explain why some common chest radiographic findings do appear in some of these pathologic conditions. Many of these findings had been previously observed by millions of radiologists without being brought to a theoretical explanation. Eric Milne determined the correct physiological meaning of many of these x-ray changes and taught his experimentally-proven observations to radiologists, intensivists, and pulmonary physicians throughout the world. The observations made by Eric Milne over the years allow chest films readers with a knowledge of cardiopulmonary physiology to extract important clinical data from plain chest radiographs. Among these findings one must mention: 1) the vascular pedicle of the heart as a very useful clinical index to extract from the chest radiograph accurate information about circulating blood volume and its changes; 2) the redistribution of pulmonary blood flow from the lung bases to the apices as an index of chronic left heart failure; 3) the radiographic findings to determine the amount of pulmonary edema; 4) the radiographic findings that can be used to separate cardiogenic from non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema; 5) the radiographic findings that permits to determine the prevalent clinical phenotype in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The discoveries made by Eric Milne had had and still have a great impact on the practice of medicine and, in this sense, it can be affirmed that he contributed to the health and well being of a really great number of humans who were properly diagnosed and treated through the knowledge coming from his original thinking, research activity, and teaching. Among the many advancements in knowledge made possible by Eric Milne contributions, some need to be mentioned, for their relevance in the everyday care of patients, going chronologically from those made in the late fifties to those of the 2010: 1) description of the air-filled track of a bullet in the lung that has important application in chest trauma, war injuries, and forensic medicine; 2) description of a retrograde blood flow from the left atrium to the pulmonary veins that explains why pulmonary blood flow is redistributed towards the upper regions of the lungs in patients with chronic left heart failure; 3) discovery that pulmonary metastases derive their blood supply from pulmonary and not the bronchial circulation. This finding, that has been confirmed by more recent CT studies, is of some importance to oncologists endeavouring to get chemotoxic drug selectively into lung metastases and to experimenters using antiangiogenesis drugs to stop cancer growth; 4) development of a methodology to detect and quantify pulmonary edema from the plain chest film. The method has been validated by simultaneous measurements of extravascular lung water and it is now universally accepted that there is no better way of detecting and quantifying pulmonary edema than the chest radiograph; 5) first recognition that it was possible to define certain phenotypes of chronic lung disease on the basis of specific changes seen on the chest radiograph. The problem of phenotyping patients with chronic obstructive lung disease is one of the most debated subjects in the pulmonary medical literature of these years and the findings described by Eric Milne more than forty years ago are still of great and accepted value; 6) first description that the vitally important distinction as to whether edema was hydrostatic (cardiac, renal, overhydration) or due to capillary injury could be made by a chest radiograph. These findings are often referred in the present days literature as the standard way to carry out the differential among the different forms of pulmonary edema and identify its etiology; 7) he named “vascular pedicle” the bundle of arterial and venous vessels making up the upper mediastinal opacity on the chest radiograph and proved that there was an excellent correlation between changes in vascular pedicle width and changes in the circulating blood volume, a simple but clinically very useful measurement; 8) he actually measured the radiation dose to the breast during a chest CT and first pointed out that the examination should not be performed on younger women unless there is an urgent clinical reason to do so and no alternative technique could be used. CT radiation dose to the breast in young women is the subject of great debate in the radiological literature of the last years; 9) he developed a new methodology to read intensive care units films. His main clinical responsibility while he was acting as Chairman of the Department of Radiology in Toronto and Irvine was the reading of intensive care, cardiac care, neonatal, and burn unit films, which provided an excellent opportunity to put into daily practice all of the principles he had developed, and to teach others, including intensive care faculty, how to employ images to diagnose changes in a patient status at the earliest possible opportunity.
In synthesis, it is evident that millions of individuals had and will have great benefit from the ideas that Eric Milne developed, proved experimentally, brought to clinical practice and taught worldwide. The great international recognition of the work done by Eric Milne can be appreciated and summarized, beyond all the awards obtained and the numerous honorary lectures held, in the nominations as President of the two more prestigious scientific societies in the field of chest radiology: The Fleischner Society for Chest Diagnosis and the Society of Thoracic Radiology.

Eric Milne has been always very active in the last 50 years and was still on the forefront of research in clinical imaging in the last year of his life. His first contributions to the medical literature are dated back to 1959, the latter publications on radiation dose to the breast, intensive care radiology, and optical imaging have been recently published, the latest in 2010. He will survived by his last publication on pulmonary edema triggered by marathon running that it is going to appear in 2014 on Respiration Physiology and Neurobiology. He has been active till last years lecturing around the world and developing ideas and clinical applications of optical imaging by which he is expanding his previous work on angiogenesis and trying to develop a non-ionising method of detecting breast tumours and also establishing from the image whether they are benign or not. Besides its use for the breast, Eric Milne was at this time exploring the possible use of optical imaging to measure in absolute terms the amount of pulmonary edema and to monitor clinically its development and clearance. In this respect, he is pursuing a career long interest in this very common clinical condition in which he has committed himself with great success in numerous papers spanning all over his long career. In 1993, Eric Milne has published a book titled “Reading the Chest Radiograph. A Physiologic Approach” (Mosby-Year book, St. Louis, MO). The book is based on years of image/physiology correlation and it is unique in that it would teach radiologists to read chest films for physiologic change in addition to the classic morphologic change. The book is widely considered as the classic in this field.

Radiology is still a relatively young medical discipline being developed after Roentgen’s discovery of 1895. Probably for this reason Radiology, is the discipline that underwent the quickest technological developments. New scientific acquisitions have followed the introduction of newer apparatuses. Most of the knowledge that has been piled up until the eighties of the last century has rapidly become obsolete with the introduction of CT and MRI. As a consequence, most of the work done by chest radiologists who based their activity on conventional radiology has lost much of its original value and perhaps has today only a historical value. In this respect, Eric Milne is an absolute exception among the colleagues of his age. His original observations and their practical clinical application have survived the technological advancements of subsequent years and are still today the standard for the diagnosis of common clinical conditions. Clear examples of this are the radiographic methods to detect and measure pulmonary edema, to differentiate cardiogenic from non cardiogenic edema, to assess circulating blood volume, and to phenotype patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
As a matter of fact, the three papers in series published in Radiology in 1984 by Eric Milne on the vascular pedicle of the heart are still quoted in the intensive care literature and, more importantly they are used routinely to assess whether patients in intensive care should be given diuretics or should be rehydrated. The most recent review on pulmonary edema published in 2005 by the New England Journal of Medicine reports the work published in 1985 in the American Journal of Roentegenology by Eric Milne as the standard method to differentiate the different forms of pulmonary edema. A 2010 Clinical Commentary on the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has the following title: “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease phenotypes. The future of COPD”. It appears clearly that the seminal observation made by Eric Milne in the sixties are still so updated to be useful also for the future understanding of a very common disease. None of the radiologists who worked in the second half of the last century could be confronted with Eric Milne in terms of originality of thinking and long-standing duration of the developed methodologies. More than this, he was outstanding for his continuing role in saving lives of sick people. A role that will continue in the future.
To finish, just some personal remembering of his human characteristics. All those who knew him can remember his untamed willing to defend strongly his scientific ideas. As co-worker and friend since 1977 I will always recall his honesty in thinking and his affectionate relationship with many people who shared with him period of life and work experiences.

Working positions

1) Medical Research Council Graduate Assistant to Professor Eric Samuel, Chair of Radiology University of Edinburgh.

2) Assistant Professor (radiological research) University of Western Ontario.

3) Ontario Cancer Research Fellowship, Cardiovascular Research Institute Fellow, University of California San Francisco.

3) Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School, Chief of Pulmonary radiology, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston Mass.

4) 1st University Professor o f Radiology. University of Toronto. Professor and Founding Director, Radiological Research Laboratories (Canadian MRC Negotiated Development Grant)....University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Institute., Ontario Canada,

5) First Leo G Rigler Scholar in Residence, UCLA Health Sciences, Department of radiology
Los Angeles California.

6) Professor and Chairman. Dept of Radiology, University of California School of medicine, Irvine California. Founding Director, U.C. Irvine Imaging Research Laboratories.

7) Chief of Chest Radiology, University of California medical Centre. Co-Founder combined MD/PhD, program and founder Ph.D program in Radiological Sciences

8) Cross-appointed, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, U.C. Irvine.

9) Director, Committee for National Biomedical Research Facility,( Dynamic CT Multiplexing)
Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn.

10). Fogarty Senior International Fellowship. Radiologic research Institute, Leningrad, USSR.

11) Founder, "Great Teachers International" organisation

12) Founder and Editor, "Journal of Thoracic Imaging;"

13) Founding Member and President, Fleischner Society.

14) Founding Member and President Society of Thoracic Radiology.

15) International Clinical Research Director, Computed Tomographic Laser Mammography Systems. International Lectures on Radiation Hazards of Thoracic X-ray CT.


Silver Medal, Certificates of Merit, Radiological Society of America
Silver Medal City of Brescia, Italy.
Presidency Fleischner Society.
Presidency Society of Thoracic radiology
Appointed A.O.A. (gold key)'
Annual Oration, Association of Chief Academic residents in Radiology
Inaugural Speaker First world Congress on Thoracic Radiology
Inaugural Speaker First European Congress in Intensive Care.
Inaugural Speaker opening of Onassis Cardiac Centre, Athens ,Greece.
Fogarty Senior International Fellowship
Rigler Scholar-in-Residence. UCLA.
Intensive Care Grand Rounds Yale University
Multiple reviewers recognition awards, Radiologic Society of North America.
Annual Coolidge memorial oration, Radiological Society of North America.
Inaugural lecture, UCLA "Rigler Lecture" Series.
Inaugural lecture, McGill University, Department of Anesthesia .
Silver Anniversary Speaker, Sociedad de Radiologia del Atlantico, Barranquilla.
Honorary Member, Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society.
Member, Working Group 5 of the Cancer Program Planning Conference,
National Cancer Program, US Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare/National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.
Chairman, SPIE "Medical X-ray Systems Evaluation", Columbia, MD.
Distinguished lectureship, Century Forum Lecturer, University of Vermont, November 1977.
Inaugural lecturer, Stanford University Grand Rounds
Honorary member, Bavarian-American Radiological Society
Elected corresponding member of the Colombian Society of Internal Medicine.
Summa Cum Laude Award, Radiological Society of North America, Exhibit on Pneumomediastinum
Cum Laude Award for exhibit on "The radiological differentiation between cardiac and non-cardiac edema." RSNA:
Certificate of Merit for exhibit on "The vascular pedicle ,- a new diagnostic window in cardiopulmonary diagnosis." RSNA
Organizer, "Progress in immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy." Critical
Concepts in Cancer, annual Vail meeting.
Honorary membership, Argentinian Radiological Society
Elected Fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Inaugural address to the 4th International Congress, European Society of Critical Care Medicine.
Chairman, Committee on International Associations of Thoracic Radiology
Named Lectureship, The Sixth Annual David E. Zion lectureship, Cedars-Sinal Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
The Elias Faison lectureship, Faison Foundation, University of Kansas.
Consultant, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Inaugural Lecturer, 1st International European Congress of Radiology, Vienna, Austria.1993:
Chair, International Consultant Board for "Revista Argentina
de Radiologie
Connecticut State Chest Conference, Pulmonary and Critical Care
Medicine, Yale University Grand Rounds, "Pulmonary embolism - dogma

1. Radiology
2. Chest
3. American Journal of Roentgenology
4. New England Journal of Medicine
5. Journal of Applied Physiology
6. Investigative Radiology
7. American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine
8. Sports Medicine

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Guest Book (33 entries)
In 1972, I was working in the offices of the Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Irvine, when the Dean was in the process of bringing Dr. Milne on board. We felt so lucky that he accepted the post and I had some great conversations with him over many lunches. He admired by collection of paperweights and my piano repertoire. He got along splendidly with my husband who was was trained as a nuclear physicist and worked in the Dept. of Ecology on campus .. and he adored our son, named Eric who was born in 1972. Dr. Milne had a terrific sense of humor... and loved the arts. He will be missed.
tina milburn (friend)
July 5th, 2017
Sat w/ Dr.Milne for many years reading out chest xrays as a resident in radiology at UCI (1996-2000). To this day, I regard him as probably the most brilliant radiologist I have ever encountered. Every word he uttered was instantly publishable and as I grew to appreciate his intelligence, his wealth of knowledge, his art, I became more and more humbled realizing the rest of us knew so little. He had a true gift. I will always remember him and his stories. There are so many. One of my favorites was he would play sherlock holmes w/ the pulmonologists who loved to try and "one up" him. Every morning, he would guess the pulmonary wedge pressures of the patients in the ICU. Astoundingly, he would get unbelieveably close everytime. He would break it down by carefully examining the xray, accounting for position, projection, age, even race looking at the origin of the name of the patient. My favorite Milne-ism was "the chest radiograph is perfect. It speaks truth. The problem is we as radiologists lie about them". So true.
jin seung (former student)
March 1st, 2017
Steve--- what an extraordinary life your dad had. It was fascinating to read this page. I was actually searching google for a different Eric Milne (also deceased) and this was the first of many sites offered by google. My own father was born a month after your dad, but in Pennsylvania USA. He died in 2011 and share your father's view that he was happy, he had a good life, and we should not mourn his passing. Still, I miss him all the time. He was great to talk things over with.
Ellen Loughney (none)
June 16th, 2015
Thank you for this. What a wonderful tribute.
Graham Senior-Milne (Nephew)
January 30th, 2015
I think of Eric Milne every day while reading conventional radiographs.
He lives on through his teaching and scholarly contributions: our patients are the main beneficiaries!
Paul Stark (colleague)
June 20th, 2014
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"Dr. Milne to me was more than a mentor and a supporter...he was a life coach. We traveled together - China, Middle East - and I learned many a thing about the world from him. I hope one day to be half the great man he was. Farewell..."
Mark Proulx
February 27th, 2014
"To have known Eric is to now miss his jovial, light-hearted real self. He was a lovable and unique personality who made many useful contributions to our field. He was a real friend to us."
Reginald and Fay Greene
December 24th, 2013
"I have long and wonderful memories of Eric as fun-loving, highly intelligent friend, fellow thoracic radiologist, early member of the Society of Thoracic Radiology and dear friend. He and his sense of humor will be missed by me and all who knew him."
Dr. S. David Rockoff
December 23rd, 2013
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of Eric. You are in my thoughts. Eric was such an outstanding soul. He achieved so many goals and high reputation by his dedication for chest radiology May god bless you"
Hans-Ulrich Kauczor
December 23rd, 2013
"Please accept my regrets and condolences on this sudden news. Yoshikazu Inoue (Fleischner), Osaka, Japan"
Yoshikazu Inoue
December 23rd, 2013
"Eric we will miss you very much. We will always remember that you choose to stay with us in Florence for your 80th birthday. We send our love to all those who loved you."
Germana and Valeria Pistolesi
December 22nd, 2013

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