The history of kidney transplantation
The history of kidney transplantation is a history of many unsuccessful efforts and setbacks, but also the history of perseverance, pioneering spirit, and steadfast courage. The first successful transplantation of a dog kidney was done by the Austrian Emerich Ullmann (1861-1937) in 1902. The kidney was connected to the carotid artery of the dog and the ureter ended freely. The organ produced urine for a couple of days before it died. In 1909, there were efforts to transplant human kidneys from deceased patients to monkeys and in the following year the first xenotransplantation in humans was completed. Different kinds of donors were tried: dogs, monkeys, goats and lambs, all without success. In 1939, the first transplantation from a deceased human donor was done by the Russion Yurii Voronoy, the patient survived for only a couple of days, and the organ never worked. In 1953, the first temporarily successful transplantation of a human kidney was performed by Jean Hamburger in Paris. A 16-year-old boy received the kidney of his mother as living donor transplantation. Then in 1954, a milestone was made with the first long-term successful kidney transplantation by Joseph Murray: the transplantation was done between monozygotic twins; the organ survived for 8 years. For his efforts in kidney transplantation, Murray was honored with the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1990. In 1962, the first kidney transplantation between genetically nonrelated patients was done using immunosuppression and in 1963 the first kidney transplantation in Germany was done by Reinhard Nagel and Wilhelm Brosig in Berlin. The aim of this article is to present the history of kidney transplantation from the beginning until today.