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Joaquin Maria Albarran y Dominguez

Born  1860-08-22
Died  1912-01-17

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Cuban urologist, born August 22, 1860, Sagua-Grande on Cuba; died January 17, 1912, Paris.

Biography of Joaquin Maria Albarran y Dominguez

Joaquin Maria Albarran y Dominguez was born in Sagua-Grande on Cuba 1860. He studied in Havana and Barcelona, becoming a licentiate of medicine in 1877. He then went to Paris where he continued he his education practicing histology with Louis Antoine Ranvier (1835-1922), who persuaded him to stay in France.

He subsequently interned under Ulysse Trélat (1828-1890), Jacques-Joseph Grancher (1843-1907), Jean François Auguste Le Dentu (1841-1926), and Jean-Casimir-Félix Guyon (1831-1920), of which the latter exercised the greater influence on him. During a cholera epidemic in the south of Spain he was a member of a scientific mission in Barcelona trying to combat it. Albarran in 1884 became interne des hôpitaux, and in 1888 and 1889 received the medal for surgery, respectively a faculty prize, and received his doctorate.

Following a conventional career he became Chef de clinique for diseases of the urological tract in 1890, professeur agrégé 1892, two years later chirurgien des hôpitaux, and in 1906 succeeded Guyon as director of the Clinic of Urology at the Hôpital Necker. His clinics became world renowned and attracted students from all countries.

He wrote some very notable treatises, of which Médecine opératoire des voies urinaires (Paris 1908) on urological surgery deserves special prominence. It was characterised as a treasure by the German urologist Leopold Casper (1859-1949), who said that he himself had renounced from writing a dissertation on urological surgery, as nobody would be able to do this better than Albarran.

Albarran was the first in France to perform perineal prostate-ecotomy and made common catheterisation of the ureter, which he simplified, thanks to the "onglet" from the instrumentarium of Leopold Casper (born 1859) and Max Nitze (1848-1906). He developed a method of experimental polyuria, and improved cystoscopy by inventing the so-called Alberran's lever, a device for refining the movements of the cytoscope during catherisation of the ural tubes.

Already while still an intern he described, with Halle, the Bacillus pyogenes, later to be named Bacterium coli. He proved himself as a combined bacteriologist and pathological anatomist in his thesis Néphrites des urinaires, and in Traité des tumeurs de la vessie made a new classification of tumors of the bladder based on embryological views. He also pleaded the necessity of a comparative study of the kidney.


  • Les reins des urinaires. Doctoral thesis, Paris.
  • Anatomie et physiologie pathologique de la rétention de l’urine.
    With Jean-Casimir-Felix Guyon (1831-1920), 1890.
  • Néphrites des urinaires: ?
  • Traité des tumeurs de la vessie. 1891.
  • Traité des maladies chirurgicales de la verge. 1896.
  • Sur un série de quarante opérations pratiqués sur la rein.
    Revue de chirurgie, 1896, 16: 882-884.
    First planned nephrostomy.
  • Tumeurs du rein. With Armand Imbert (1851-1922). Paris 1903.
  • Exploration des fonctions rénales. Paris, Masson & Cie., 1905.
  • Médecine opératoire des voies urinaires. Paris, Masson & Cie., 1909.
    His masterpiece. Albarran was the first surgeon in France to perform perineal prostatectomy.

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