Franz Volhard: 150th Birth Anniversary of a Father of Nephrology and Hypertension

Exp Clin Transplant. 2023 Jun;21(Suppl 2):38-41. doi: 10.6002/ect.IAHNCongress.09.


Franz Volhard (May 2, 1872, to May 24, 1950) was a German clinician and researcher who made outstanding contributions to the field of nephrology and hyper-tension. His studies led to important developments in knowledge about the pathophysiology of the kidney and its relationship to cardiovascular disease. He contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying renovascular hypertension by explaining the crucial relationship between the decrease in renal blood flow and the increase in blood pressure. He also introduced a precise classification of the different types of hypertension and the associated renal involvement. In collaboration with Karl Theodor Fahr (1877-1945), he developed a new classification of Bright's disease (nephritis), which was published in the book Die Brightsche Nierenkrankheit. Klinik, Pathologie und Atlas, and revolutionized the concepts behind the mechanisms of glomerulonephritis. During his distinguished career, Volhard headed departments of internal medicine at the Luisenhospital in Dortmund (1905-1910) and in Mannheim (1910-1918). In 1918, he became chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Halle, his alma mater, until 1928, the same year he became chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Frankfurt until 1938. Volhard continued his successful career until 1950, when he died of complications from a car accident. The worldwide medical com-munity greatly appreciated Franz Volhard's scientific contribution. The International Society of Hypertension posthumously presented him with the "Franz Volhard Award." The aim of this article is to commemorate the importance of this giant of nephrology 150 years after his birth.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Anniversaries and Special Events
  • Glomerulonephritis*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Renovascular*
  • Kidney
  • Nephrology*