Nephrology has come a long way since the first edition of The Kidney. As Drs Brenner and Rector note in their preface, this discipline is steadily evolving through advances in molecular cell biology and recombinant DNA technology.
By way of molecular cloning procedures, we now prescribe erythropoietin routinely and use atrial natriuretic hormone and endothelin for research. Substantial progress has expanded our knowledge of the role of cellular proteins and their biochemical functions. We have a better understanding of the electrochemical basis of ion transport and a clearer picture of the immunology of disease and organ reaction. We have advanced in our understanding of the physicochemical principles of dialysis. Our technology for renal imaging has improved and renal therapeutics has expanded, most notably with an explosion of new antihypertensives. New drugs prevent transplant rejection and suppress renal osteodystrophy; others may prevent the relentless progression to chronic renal failure. Myriad recent