Tag Archives: nephrology

Sympathectomy for hypertension

Components of the sympathetic trunk. Redrawn from Wolf-Heidegger’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. From Anatomic Origin and Molecular Genetics in Neuroblastoma. CC BY 3.0. Sympathectomy for essential hypertension was introduced in the late 1920s at a time when no effective medical treatment was available. It consisted of resecting several sympathetic neurons that exit the spinal cord […]

Walter Kempner (1903–1997) and his rice diet

Photo of Walter Kempner. Source. Walter Kempner, the doctor with the thick German accent who came to America to escape from the Nazis, was born in 1903. Son of two bacteriologists who had both worked on tuberculosis, he graduated in medicine from the  University of Heidelberg in 1928 and subsequently worked there and in Berlin. When […]

Harry Goldblatt and the kidney

Dr. Harry Goldblatt. 1964. Via the National Library of Medicine. In 1928 Dr. Harry Goldblatt applied silver clamps experimentally to the renal arteries of dogs and observed a significant and sustained rise in blood pressure. His main interest as a researcher was to find a cause for hypertension, a disease for which effective treatment was […]

A brief history of kidney transplantation

Laura Carreras-Planella Marcella Franquesa Ricardo Lauzurica Francesc E. Borràs Barcelona, Spain   We may think of renal transplantation as routine therapy today, but this procedure has taken centuries to develop and is marked by important events in the history of science. An ancient description of the kidneys is found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated […]

Belding Scribner and his arteriovenous Teflon shunt

Belding Scribner. Photo by Kay Rodriguez. From University of Washington School of Medicine Online News Archive. Without Belding Scribner maintenance dialysis might have never happened. Although by 1960 the technology of hemodialysis had become quite advanced, and several types of dialyzers, notably the Kolff Twin Coil, had been successfully used, long-term access to the vascular system […]

Satoru Nakamoto

Of all the pioneers who made hemodialysis a reality, Satoru Nakamoto was the most humble and unassuming. He died in 2020 at the age of 92, almost forgotten by a generation that often takes the technical advances of dialysis for granted and rarely looks back on the people who made it possible. I had the […]

Unlikely pioneers in renal transplantation: The Little Company of Mary Sisters

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   The first kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Richard Lawler, Dr. James West, and Dr. Raymond Murphy at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park, IL. Photo courtesy of OSF Little Company of Mary Medical center.  Dr. Joseph Murray deservedly received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his magnificent pioneering […]

Thomas Addis and his times

Thomas Addis. Stanford Medical History Center. Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Thomas Addis, one of the most prominent students of the kidney during the first half of the twentieth century, was born in Edinburgh in 1881.1-3 Recruited by Stanford Medical School University in 1911, he spent almost his entire academic life there. After a brief interest […]

Stanley Shaldon as I knew him

Stanley Shaldon. Photo by the author. Stanley Shaldon belonged to that first generation of nephrologists who made dialysis available at a time when uremia was a sentence of death. He was one of the bright young registrars whom Professor Sheila Sherlock took with her from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith to the Royal […]

Irvine H. Page M.D. 1901-1991

Earl Smith Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. Irvine Page and a lab tech at Cleveland Clinic in the 1960s. 1960s. Provided by Cleveland Clinic. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0 Irvine Page was a physician scientist who discovered angiotensin and serotonin and proposed the multifactorial etiology of hypertension. He was a prolific medical […]