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Nephrology: A Photographic History 1840-1950

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Photography, introduced in 1839, was available to record the development of nephrology. The foundations lay in the basic sciences, particularly chemistry, anatomy and physiology, but, most importantly, in technological advances. During the nineteenth century, the development of anesthesia, antiseptic/aseptic principles, the germ theory of disease and the X-ray propelled medicine into the modern era. These advances created modern surgery and disease identification and control. The development of endoscopy and vaccine and serum therapy in the last decades of the nineteenth century opened new vistas of diagnosis and therapy. Ureteral catheterization, developed in the 1890s, provided, for the first time, identification of unilateral renal diseases, and it offered the ability to identify specific etiologies. The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized nephrology. Chronic infections, a limiting factor in surgery and genitourinary disease, were controlled. (Today, most nephrologists consider themselves to be experts in the care of hypertension as well as electrolyte disorders.) Hematopoietic conditions are associated with renal disease and are a critical component in evaluating and maintaining the health of patients. Most diseases affecting the kidney are not limited to the organ itself, but are systemic disorders. Hypertension and, notably, diabetes are common causes of renal failure. The series documents - in 192 photographs - these major achievements and advances in the development of the specialty.

Volume one, Pioneers and Educators, documents some of the leaders of medical science that laid the foundations of profession. Numerous portraits are shown, along with a series of photographs illustrating medical education, as well as physicians in their laboratories. Among the notables are Paul Ehrlich, Jean-Martin Charcot, Alexander Fleming, Howard Kelly, Claude Bernard, William Bowman and Alexis Carrel.

Volume two, Disease and Trauma, presents unusual case studies and renal conditions. Dramatic photographs of patients suffering from a wide range of renal diseases, including neoplasms, calculi and infections from tuberculosis to scarlet fever, are shown. Trauma images include knife and gunshot wounds and previously unpublished views of wounded soldiers in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars.

Volume three, Radiology and Surgery, contains many iconic images of medicine. Photographs of pioneer radiologists, patients and procedures document the development of radiology of the kidneys. Many of the common renal procedures are illustrated by the work of Nicholas Senn, Howard Kelly, Eugène Doyen and other master surgeons. George Crile’s direct blood transfusion is presented by a series of nine photographs.

Volume four, Science and Therapy, documents experiments, personalities and instrumentation. It illustrates numerous non-surgical therapies of renal disease, from the most ancient—bloodletting - to the most modern - hemodialysis. Images of several physical therapies enable us to recognize the frustration in treating kidney disease and realize the phenomenal advances in treatment. The history of hypertension and associated renal disease is presented through images of patients and various devices that measured blood pressure and other physiological parameters. Howard Kelly’s remarkable stereophotographs of diagnosing ipsilateral renal disease by his ureteral catheterization techniques are, quite possibly, the highlight of this book.

256 pages | 4 Hardcover Volumes in Slipcase | 11.5 x 8.5 inches | ISBN: 978-0-9764495-6-0 | 2007

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