Iranian Journal of Kidney Diseases, Vol 5, No 5 (2011)

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A Critical Review of the Works of Pioneer Physicians on Kidney Diseases in Ancient Iran: Avicenna, Rhazes, Al-Akhawayni, and Jorjani

Saeed Changizi Ashtiyani, Mohsen Shamsi, Ali Cyrus, Bahar Bastani, Seyed Mohammad Tabatabayei


The history of kidney and urologic disorders dates back to the dawn of civilization. Throughout history of medicine, urine, the first bodily fluid to be examined, has continuously been studied as a means of understanding inner bodily function. The purpose of this review was to appraise the contributions of the ancient Iranian physician pioneers in the field of kidney and urological disorders, and to compare their beliefs and clinical methods with the modern medicine. We searched all available reliable electronic and published sources for the views of ancient Iranian physicians, Avicenna, Rhazes, Al-Akhawayni, and Jorjani, and compared them with recent medical literature. Our findings showed that ancient Iranian physicians described the symptoms, signs, and treatment of kidney and urological disorders; addressed bladder anatomy and physiology; and performed bladder catheterization and stone removal procedures in accordance with contemporary medicine. Ancient Iranian physicians pursued a comprehensive scientific methodology based on experiment, which is in compliance with the bases of modern medicine.

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