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September 12, 1986

Earlier Therapies for Urinary Stones

Author Affiliations

Queens Hospital Center Affiliation of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center Jamaica, NY The Health Sciences Center State University of New York at Stony Brook

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1294-1295. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100068015

To the Editor.—  The recent article on lithotripsy by the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians1 describes the 20th century approach to the fragmentation of stones in the urinary tract. Descriptions of urinary calculi and remedies for their treatment are already found in the Talmud, which was compiled in the second century of the common era. In Yebamoth, folio 64b, the Talmud states that Rabbi Acha ben Jacob once suffered from painful or difficult urination that Jastrow2 interprets to have been due to a uratic stone. Elsewhere (Baba Metzia, folio 85a) the Talmud describes the 13-year suffering of Rabbi Judah the Prince from bladder calculi. His screams of pain were so loud they could be heard at the seashore. These pains are portrayed as follows: when the horse steward of Rabbi Judah gave fodder to the horses, their neighs could be heard for