Volhard & Fahr’s book

Yosuke Hirakawa
Division of Nephrology and Endocrinology, the University of Tokyo Hospital

In 1914, Franz Volhard, a clinician, and Theodor Fahr, a pathologist, published the textbook, Die Brightsche Nierenkrankheit. Klinik, Pathologie und Atlas (Bright’s disease. Clinical aspects, Pathology and illustrations) (1)(2). This is one of the most important textbooks because for the first time several pathological entities were described. ‘Bright’s disease’ was categorized into nephrosis (nephrotic syndrome), nephritis, and arteriosclerotic renal disease; now recognized as focal segmental glomerulonephritis, crescentic glomerulonephritis, and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (3). The original classification described by Volhard and Fahr formed the basis of current renal pathology constructs. This specific textbook is also notable as one of the last to be hand-illustrated in color. The beautiful drawings can be seen in the Nephrol Dial Transplant article from 1998 (cited as #1).


  1. Fogazzi GB, Ritz E. Novel classification of glomerulonephritis in the monograph of Franz Volhard and Theodor Fahr. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998;13:2965-7.
  2. Luft FC, Dietz R. Franz Volhard in historical perspective. Hypertension. 1993;22:253-6.
  3. J Stewart Cameron. “Glomerular Disease – Before 1950” in John Feehally, Christopher McIntyre, J. Stewart Cameron (ed.). Landmark Papers in Nephrology (English Edition) 1st Edition. pp102-3.

Global Operations Center

Avenue des Arts 1-2
1210 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 808 04 20
Fax: +32 2 808 4454
Email contact


Americas Operations Center

340 North Avenue 3rd Floor
Cranford, NJ 07016-2496, United States
Tel: +1 567 248 9703
Fax: +1 908 272 7101
Email contact