Contribution of Jan Brod to Nephrology

Contribution of Jan Brod to Nephrology

Ivan Rychlíka and Karel Matoušovicb

a2nd Department of Medicine, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, and bDepartment of Medicine, 2nd Faculty of Medicine,
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


Jan Brod (1912–1985), Professor of Medicine of Charles University, Prague, was one of the outstanding personalities of the Czechoslovak medicine and European nephrology of the 20th century. He was an eminent clinician, teacher and scientist who belonged among the founders of renal medicine in Europe. He grew up in the scientific tradition of Prague and Vienna and he was trained by some outstanding personalities, particularly Paul Wood. He became famous due to his pathophysiological-clinical approach to hypertension, heart and kidney diseases. He was not only interested in renal and cardiac physiology but in the entire clinical nephrology. He was among the first clinicians who started to use creatinine clearance in routine practice. His early work was also performed in the field of acute glomerulonephritis and in interstitial nephritis. Later he was interested in water and electrolytes in heart failure and the pathogenesis of edema, and he published priority data on the hemodynamic pattern in emotional stress.

Furthermore, it is for sure that he was one of the first cardionephrologists, too. As early as in 1950, he studied diurnal variation in renal perfusion and urinary output in heart failure and later the effect of the adrenergic blockade on the renal hemodynamics in heart failure. Up to his exile in 1968, he served as the head of the Institute for Cardiovascular Research based in Prague and later on, up to his retirement, as the head of the Department of Nephrology in Hannover. He was a founding member of the International Society of Nephrology and president of its 2nd congress held in Prague in 1963. Throughout his life, Jan Brod remained a political man who voiced his opinions. Despite two exiles, he was always the Czech patriot. He holds a special place in the history of Czechoslovak and European nephrology.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

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