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November 25, 1983

Roentgenography of the Urinary Tract

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Radiology, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York.

JAMA. 1983;250(20):2854-2855. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340200088038

The article by Osborne and colleagues entitled "Roentgenography of Urinary Tract During Excretions of Sodium Iodid" that appeared in The Journal Feb 10, 1923, is medically of considerable historical importance in that it was the first attempt to provide a simple, safe, practical intravenous (IV) method of visualizing the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Visualization of these structures by retrograde ureteral catheterization had been achieved some years earlier in 1906 by Voelcker and von Lichtenberg.1 However, instrumentation was required — not invariably successful, even as today — and the contrast media used at that time were irritating and even toxic if absorbed. Therefore, retrograde pyelography, despite its limitations, was the only means of demonstrating renal anatomy and, at this time, was only partially successful. An IV method or, even better, an oral method of roentgenographically visualizing the upper urinary tract would be a great contribution to the diagnosis and treatment