A brief history of dialysis and transplantation
Read a more detailed account of the early days of dialysis and other resources below
Table showing important milestones. Links from the tables are mostly to our own pages.
|1861||The process of dialysis was first described by Thomas Graham (Glasgow) More|
|1913||Artificial kidney developed - John Abel (Baltimore) More|
|1924||First human dialysis - George Haas (Giessen) More|
|1943||Rotating drum dialyzer - Kolff and Berk (Kampen) - the first practical dialyser More|
|1946||Coil dialyzers - George Murray (Canada), Nils Alwall (Sweden; more)|
|1946-7||First dialyses in Britain - Bywaters and Joekes (Hammersmith); Darmady (Portsmouth)|
|1948||Kolff-Brigham machine. As used in the Korean war for acute renal failure|
|1955||Twin coil dialyzer - Watschinger and Kolff More|
|1956-7||Dialysis recommenced in the UK in Leeds (Parsons), London (Shackman) and RAF Halton (Jackson) Report from Edinburgh on these centres in 1958|
|1960||Kiil dialyzer (Oslo) Picture|
|1960||Scribner shunt (Seattle) More|
|1960||Clyde Shields (d1971), Harvey Gentry (d1987) commenced haemodialysis in Seattle - the first long-term dialysis patients Read a contemporary account|
|1961||Dialysis using a domestic washing machine (later leading to the Maytag program in Cleveland; Nose, Japan) More|
|1964||Home dialysis introduced by Shaldon (London), Scribner (Seattle), Merrill (Boston) More|
|1965||Hepatitis outbreaks in the UK More - hepatitis in Edinburgh, 1969|
|1966||Internal AV fistula developed - Brescia, Cimino (New York) More|
|1972||Aluminium toxicity More|
|1975||Haemofiltration introduced (Henderson, Quellhorst)|
|1977||Continuous arteriovenous haemofiltration described|
|1981||Dialysis-related amyloidosis described|
|1986||Recombinant erythropoietin introduced|
|1744||Peritoneal lavage undertaken by the Rev. Stephen Hales|
|1877||Experimental studies of the peritoneum|
|1923||First human peritoneal dialysis - Ganter|
|1946||Treatment of acute renal failure by PD - Frank, Seligman, Fine (Boston); Reid (UK); Tanret (Paris); Kop (Netherlands) More|
|1959||Intermittent PD - Ruben and Doolan (Oakland, CA)|
|1964||Repeated puncture method introduced More|
|1965||Stylet catheter (Trocath) introduced|
|1968||Tenckhoff catheter introduced|
|1976||CAPD describe - Moncrieff and Popovich (Austin, Texas) More|
Thanks to Stewart Cameron for correcting and improving these tables.
|1933||First human renal transplant (unsuccessful) - Voronoy More|
|1936||Histocompatibility antigens described in mice - Snell|
|1944||Accelerated rejection of a second transplant described in rabbits - Medawar|
|1954||First successful human renal transplant, between identical twins - Murray and Merril (Boston) More|
|1962||First successful cadaver transplant and first use of azathioprine - Murray and Calne More|
|1962||Second use of azathioprine - Edinburgh's third renal transplant More|
|1965||Tissue typing using white blood cells - van Rood/ van Leeuwen, Terasaki|
|1976||UK brain death guidelines facilitate retrieval from heart-beating cadaveric donors|
|1983||Cyclosporine licensed as new immunosuppressive drug|
Even now its difficult to find very good information on the Web.
The history of peritoneal dialysis is described quite well in an article that was once on the International Society for PD site. You can still find the ISPD history of PD document, maybe it is linked from here.
The ISN Video Legacy project provides remarkable interviews with Abel and Kolff, two major players in the initial development of haemodialysis. The ISN's historical resources unfortunately now require a members login, but if you have one they are available here.
|Stanley Shaldon's online lecture, from a talk in Osaka in 2001, includes a fascinating, prolifically illustrated personal account of the excitements and disappointments of the early days of haemodialysis. It is demanding of internet connection speeds and software, but worth watching.|
|There was a great Quicktime movie about the use of the Kolff Brigham dialysis machine in the Korean War on the website of the nephrology section of the Walter Reed Army Center. But it's gone. Let us know if you find it, and we'll point to it.|
Books on the history of dialysis
The best history of dialysis is now Stewart Cameron's book: J.S. Cameron, History of the Treatment of Renal Failure by Dialysis (OUP, Oxford, 2002).
Previously the best earlier account was by William Drukker and was chapter 3 in the third edition of Replacement of Renal Function by Dialysis, edited by John F. Maher, published by Kluwer, 1989. His account of the history of peritoneal dialysis, chapter 22 in the same volume, was also good but less comprehensive.
Nephrology more widely
Richard Bright is widely regarded as the father of nephrology because of his classic descriptions of nephritis in the 1840s. He was a graduate of Edinburgh University who spent much of his highly productive working life at Guy's Hospital in London. The account from the Roscoe Robinson History of Nephrology Collection at Vanderbilt University is worth reading.
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