There has been a belief among surgeons for many years that ether is so irritating to the kidneys that it should not be used with patients suffering from nephritis. Some advocates of chloroform consider the irritating effects of ether great enough even to cause nephritis in patients with kidneys normal before operation. As with many other beliefs we doubt if most of those who have held them could give their reasons for doing so. Probably a statement which has been made in standard text-books on therapeutics in several successive editions is partly responsible for this somewhat widespread opinion. These books state that chloroform is more irritating to the kidneys than ether, but the large quantity of the latter necessary for anesthesia makes it less safe. No facts are given on which to base this statement.
In a paper read recently by Dr. John C. Munro,1 is contributed some valuable
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ALBUMIN AND CASTS IN SURGICAL PATIENTS.. JAMA. 1904;XLII(3):176–177. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490480038006