Biography of Sándor Korányi
Sándor Korányi was the son of Friedrich von Korányi (1828-1913), professor of internal medicine at the Budapest University. He finished his studies in Budapest in 1888 and subsequently spent some time in Germany in laboratories of physical chemistry, including with Ernst Felix Immanuel Hoppe-Seyler (1825-1895) and Friedrich Leopold Goltz’ (1834-1902) in Strasbourg.
After his return to Hungary in 1890 he he worked for one year as head of the physiological institute of the Budapest veterinary college.
At about this time a particular patient had a great influence on his thinking. Korányi had to decide, at the request of a urological colleague, whether a kidney, of which the ureter had been cut and attached to the skin, could be safely removed. As the concentration of several urinary solutes on that side was clearly lower than that of the bladder urine, Korányi counselled nephrectomy, which was carried out with excellent long-term results
He was habilitated for internal medicine in 1893, becoming professor extraordinary in 1900. From 1895 he headed a department of intenal medicine at the city hospital in, and from 1907 he was full professor of diagnostics. In 1909 he became director of the 3rd. Medical clinic.
Korányi was the founder of the modern nephrophysiology and nephropathology. He was the first to define renal failure and introduced special diagnostic method for this: determination of the decline of the chill point of blood and urine.
Korányi Was one of the first to use chemical methods in medicine, an establisher and developer of the functional approach in medicine instead of morphological approach. It was Korányi who discovered that in high altitude the higher rate of red blood cells in the blood is caused by lack of oxygen. He also discovered benzene as a treatment against leukemia, but this treatment was abandones because of its side effects.
Using physicochemical methods to estimate renal function, he found characteristic changes in the freezing point depression of urine, which he termed hyposthenuria. On the basis of these findings, he was the first to introduce the functional concept of renal insufficiency.
Korányi Pulmonology and Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium, beautifully situated at the far western end of Budapest, is named in his honour.
Sándor Korányi was an honourable member of Die Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina.