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Owing to the vital importance of the renal function the desirability of being able to determine the presence or absence of a kidney, as well as its functional capacity, has long been recognized by every surgeon who has been called upon to remove one of these organs for some incurable disease. It is a well-known fact that, owing to an error or arrest of development, an individual may be possessed of but a single kidney, or one of the kidneys may be so atrophied or misformed as to possess but little, if any, functional activity. It has more than once been found at the autopsy that the kidney removed by the surgeon was the only one possessed by the patient.
While absence of a kidney is quite rare, being found in only one out of about thirty-three hundred cases (Morris) or 0.03 per cent., still where but a single kidney
HARRIS ML. A NEW AND SIMPLE METHOD OF OBTAINING THE URINE SEPARATELY FROM THE TWO KIDNEYS IN EITHER SEX. JAMA. 1898;XXX(5):236–238. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440570004001b
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