Document Detail

Friedrich Theodor von Frerichs (1819-1885) and Bright's disease.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12381966     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Richard Bright (1789-1858) discovered that edema and proteinuria are linked with renal disease. Friedrich Theodor von Frerichs (1819-1885) performed microscopic studies on Bright's disease and wrote the first German textbook of nephrology. The present contribution analyzes Frerichs' work. METHODS: Frerichs' career and his book Die Bright'sche Nierenkrankheit und deren Behandlung are examined in terms of contemporary medical knowledge. RESULTS: Frerichs conducted clinical and microscopic studies that led him to conclude that Bright's disease is a single pathological entity with many possible causes. Frerichs identified three stages through which the condition progresses. Although an oversimplification, Frerichs' various stages are reflected in the current notion that chronic renal disease, irrespectively of its etiology, relentlessly progresses to end-stage renal failure with common features of tubulointerstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy. After writing his monograph, Frerichs never touched on renal disease again and is actually better known for his contributions to hepatology. Frerichs was a volatile and difficult person who was not always fair to his students and colleagues. CONCLUSION: Frerichs put the study of renal diseases on the map in Germany and made the novel observation that chronic renal diseases follow similar morphological patterns despite multiple origins.
Gunter Wolf
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Portraits    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of nephrology     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0250-8095     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Nephrol.     Publication Date:    2002 Sep-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-10-16     Completed Date:  2003-03-03     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8109361     Medline TA:  Am J Nephrol     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  596-602     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel
Division of Nephrology and Osteology, Department of Medicine, University of Hamburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Glomerulonephritis / history*
History, 19th Century
Kidney / anatomy & histology
Kidney Diseases / classification,  history
Textbooks as Topic / history
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
Friedrich Theodor von Frerichs

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