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      Edema in the Corpus Hippocraticum

      a , b

      American Journal of Nephrology

      S. Karger AG

      Hippocrates, Dropsy, Edema, Four humours

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          In this paper, we analyze the collection of ancient Greek treatises ascribed to Hippocrates (460; between 371 and 350 BC), in order to determine whether or not edema can be traced. As a result of reading these works on the Greek text, we recognize some symptoms of edema in those called oidêma (swelling) and udrôps (dropsy) in the oldest treatises of the Corpus; in some cases, it seems also possible to recognize its description as the uremic coma. The dysfunction of edema had not been identified as such, however, even though the phenomena associated with the above symptoms received a specific explanation, which was fully hypothetical. This theoretical explanation also justifies the therapies prescribed for the treatment of the phenomena among which edema appears. Significantly enough, the treatment changed during a period which corresponds to that of Hippocrates’ life: it changes from the four-quality system to that one of the four humors, but not necessarily under the infuence of Hippocrates himself.

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          Author and article information

          Am J Nephrol
          American Journal of Nephrology
          S. Karger AG
          April 1999
          23 April 1999
          : 19
          : 2
          : 155-158
          aConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Filología, Madrid, Spain; bServizio di Nefrologia, Seconda Università di Napoli, Policlinico, Napoli, Italy
          13442 Am J Nephrol 1999;19:155–158
          © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Figures: 2, Pages: 4
          Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/13442
          Origins of Nephrology – Antiquity

          Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

          Edema, Four humours, Dropsy, Hippocrates


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