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Article
February 1957

Simple Tests of Renal Function in Health and DiseaseI. A Reappraisal of Their Value in the Light of Serial Renal Biopsies

Author Affiliations

Chicago

From the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Presbyterian Hospital and the University of Illinois. Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Attending Physician, University of Illinois Hospitals and Cook County Hospital, and Associate Attending Physician, Presbyterian Hospital (Dr. Kark); Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital and University of Illinois Hospitals (Dr. Pollak); Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital and University of Illinois Hospitals (Dr. Soothill); Professor of Pathology, University of Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. Pirani); Research Assistant, Postgraduate Medical School, London University, England (Dr. Muehrcke).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(2):176-189. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260020012003
Abstract

Although the naked eye examination of the urine was extensively practiced from the earliest historical times, the first valid clinical deduction from urine analysis was recorded in India and China some 2500 years ago.1 In the West, Thomas Willis (1621-1675 A. D.) was the first to use urine analysis in differential diagnosis, having noted that the urine of patients with diabetes mellitus was sweet, whereas that of other patients with polyuria (diabetes insipidus) was not.1 In the Middle Ages detailed inspection of the urine was widely used to diagnose all the ills of mankind, from pregnancy (Fig. 1) to phthisis. Ultimately this medieval and renaissance hocus-pocus was effectively quashed in 1637 A. D. by Thomas Brian's blunt broadside, quaintly entitled: "The Pisse-Prophet, or Certaine Pisse-Pot Lectures, wherein are newly discovered the old fallacies, deceit, and jugling of the Pisse-Pot science used by all those (whether Quacks and Empiricks

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