|Nephrology has a very long history in Iran. Abu-Bakr Mohahammad-Ibn
Zakariya Razi (Rhazes) (865-925 AD), the Persian physician, philosopher
and chemist, can be considered as one of the pioneers in nephrology.
Rhazes wrote several medical textbooks including “Les observations cliniques”,discussing
the course and progression of different diseases. This textbook contains
17 case histories, six of them about patients with renal disease and
one about a case of preeclampsia.
Avicenna (980-1037 AD) was one of
the scientists who performed urinalysis in a scientific method. In his
famous textbook, the Canon of Medicine, Avicenna has described urinalysis
in 30 pages. Indeed his interpretation of the findings in urinalysis
is very impressive: “If a limpid urine is dark and a deposit is suspended
in it in different layers, this denotes cephalgia, wakefulness, deafness
and mental confusion. Such urine shows that epistaxis is pending”. This
sentence can be considered as a description of uremia due to progressive
hereditary nephritis (Aloprt’s syndrome).
Development of medicine declined in Iran since transfer of the University
of Jondi Shapour (one of the old cities in south of Iran) to Baghdad.
In about 75 years ago, modern medicine started in Iran with establishment
of the faculty of Medicine in Tehran University. In those days there
was no definite field of medicine as nephrology and renal patients were
managed in general medical wards by the internists, especially those
trained in France.
The first Persian textbook of renal diseases was published Dr. Nouredin
Hadavi in 1958. Modern nephrology started in Iran in mid 1960s, when
a number of internists trained in nephrology in France, United Kingdom
and United States, returned to Iran. These physicians established an
association that founded the first Iranian Society of Nephrology (see
About IrSN >>
IrSN History) .From 1969 a number of the beds of the internal
medicine wards were allocated to patients with renal diseases and the
practice of nephrology gradually expanded throughout the country.
In Iran the first hemodialysis was performed for the management of
a patient with acute renal failure on 1960 at Tehran University, utilizing
the Kolff Rotating Drum kidney. Before that time only acute peritoneal
dialysis was available for treatment of renal failure patients. Chronic
hemodialysis program started and gradually expanded between 1967 and
1976 at several private and university hospitals. With establishment
of an ESRD office at the ministry of Health (now called Management Center
for non-contagious and special diseases- MCNS) on 1976, dialysis facilities
expanded throughout the country. At present, according to the latest
data obtained from MCNS (Dec. 2008), 16,600 patients are under chronic
hemodialysis in 355 dialysis wards throughout the country.
The first kidney transplantation was performed in Shiraz University
in 1968 from a living unrelated donor and the first cadaveric renal
transplantation was done 4 years later. Renal transplantation program
has also expanded in a large scale during these years, with 26 transplantation
wards throughout the country, mainly located in University hospitals.
During these years more than 24,770 renal transplantations have been
performed in Iran and at present 16,150 patients live with functioning
Chronic peritoneal dialysis program was started on 1978, but its
rate of expansion has been lagging far behind the hemodialysis and transplantation
programs due to several socioeconomic and programming reasons, beyond
the scopes of this text. At present we have 1100 peritoneal dialysis
patients under follow-up in 42 CAPD wards in the country.
(Updated: Dec. 2008)