The history of nephrology in Poland

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Abstract

Modern nephrology developed in Poland mostly from the internal medicine department chaired in Warsaw by the great internist prof. Witold Orłowski (1874-1966). Three of his pupils Tadeusz Orłowski, Jan Roguski and Jakub Penson independently established the foundations of clinical nephrology and renal replacement therapy in different parts of Poland. T. Orłowski and his team worked in Warsaw, where despite developing clinical nephrology and dialysis also performed the first successful renal transplantation in Poland in 1966. Thereafter in 1975 the Institute of Transplantology in Warsaw was established and for several years was the leading research and education center in nephrology and transplantology. J. Penson established a sound clinical nephrology program in Gdańsk, where later physiological and biochemical aspects of the kidney were studied by his successors - A. Manitius and B. Rutkowski in collaboration with S. Angielski and his biochemical team. They were instrumental in establishing a successful program leading to the development of dialysis in Poland during the last twenty years. J. Roguski in Poznań continued the research on water- electrolyte balance, metabolic and endocrine disturbances in renal patients and immunology of glomerular diseases. The first HD treatment was performed in Poznań in 1958 by the group of J. Roguski and coworkers chaired by K. Bàczyk. Subsequently, several strong academic centers were established throughout Poland. F. Kokot in Katowice being himself leader of the Polish nephrology for many years created a very active centre well known for its pioneer publications on water- electrolyte, acid- base and endocrine disorders in different stages of chronic kidney disease. F. Kokot and his successor A. Wiecek are also very active and well recognized on an international scale. In Wrocław a nephrological center was established by Z. Wiktor and later his coworkers Z. Szewczyk and recently M. Klinger. Other valuable academic nephrological centers were created in Kraków (Z. Hanicki, W. Sułowicz), Lublin (Z. Twardowski, A. Ksiażek), Łódz (Z. Orłowski, W. Chrzanowski), Bydgoszcz (A. Nartowicz, J. Manitius) and later Białystok (M. Myśliwiec), and others.

Simultaneously strong academic units were formed in the military hospitals-Łódz (K. Trznadel, M. Luciak) and Warsaw (Z. Wańkowicz). The last center was for many years widely known for their studies concerning PD treatment. Pediatric nephrology developed in parallel with adult centers mainly in Warsaw (T. Wyszńska, M. Sieniawska, R. Grenda), Wrocław (Z. Morawska, D. Zwolifska) and Gdańsk (M. Uszycka-Karcz, A Zurowska). Several Polish nephrologists were and still are involved in the activity of European and international nephrological societies.

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