Professor Miroslav Mydlik (Košice 1932-2018)

1Natale G De Santo, and 2Katka Derzsiova

1Emeritus Professor Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy, Email:

2 Former Head of the Nephrological Laboratory at the 1st and 4th Internal Clinic  of the University Hospital of L. Pasteur and Medical Faculty of P.J. Šafárik University in Košice , Slovak Republic, Email:

On birth and death

Miroslav Mydlik, MD, DSc, (Figure 1) a member (1998-2017) and councillor (2010-2015) of the International Association for the History of Nephrology,  was born on July 21, 1932, in Košice (Czechoslovakia)  and died in the same city (now in  the Slovak Republic) on September 6, 2018.

Studies in medicine and early career

Miroslav Mydlik – after completing the classical high school – started in 1951 medical studies and successfully graduated at the Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University, Prague, in 1957. In the years 1959-1964 he specialized in Internal Medicine.

In 1963 he was started in nephrology by Jan Brod, the charismatic Director of the Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Prague and President of the 3rd International  Congress of Nephrology, which took place in that city in the second half of that year. Mydlik was there as postgraduating scientist for 4 months. He established a full open contact with that great mentor and fully utilised the stimulating environment. He wrote about that experience.

The short lucky and intense training with Professor Jan Brod in Prague

My postgraduate stay consisted of:  a) work at clinical department; b) in nephrological outpatients department together with Prof. Brod one day a week; c) participation in seminars; d) active participation in scientific and research project on the measurement of blood pressure by direct and indirect method. Later the results of this project were published. The obtained results were: the values of systolic blood pressure which were measured by direct method were 1.33 – 1.86 kPa higher than the values measured by indirect method. In examination of diastolic blood pressure the values which were found during the direct measurement of blood pressure corresponded to the values which were measured by indirect method in sudden weakness of sounds. In disappearance of sounds the values of diastolic blood pressure measured by indirect method were lower in comparison with the values which were measured by direct method” (1).  The findings of that studies were published in 1966 (2). In Prague Mydlik learned kidney biopsy procedures under the supervision of Professor Brod which were immediately adopted in Košice in the same year (3).

The path to Professor of Medicine and Physician Chief of Nephrology

In the years 1964-1979 he was assistant professor at the 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty of P.J. Šafárik University. There he organized a dialysis centre and enrolled as chief of the laboratory Eng. Katka Derzsiova. She renovated the laboratory and introduced new techniques and equipment to study metabolic changes in chronic renal failure and during dialysis, mainly metabolism of vitamins  and hemoperfusion through active charcoal and other sorbents. This was an epochal change which reflected on the number and quality of the scientific production. This coincided with a creative and fertile period in the career of Professor Mydlik. It also happened that the Lady Engineer was turned into a brilliant investigator in the field of nephrology, uremia toxicity and dialysis, and hemoperfusion. Many new projects were started, various grants were obtained.

In 1977 Miroslav Mydlik carried out the first hemoperfusion through active charcoal in a patient suffering from paraquat poisoning that was the first in the former Czechoslovakia. Moreover he gradually introduced all the extracorporeal methods and CAPD (1-4).

He was a very talented and creative scientist and in 1971 discussed a PhD thesis in clinical nephrology and in 1973 passed the examination as specialist in nephrology, being the first in Slovakia. From 1979 to 1992 he was registrar in nephrology and Head of Dialysis Centre of the 4th Internal Clinic at the Faculty Hospital with Polyclinic, and later at the Faculty Hospital of L. Pasteur.

In 1984 he successfully became Doctor Scientiarum of Medical Sciences at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague and in 1990 he habilitated as Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. In 1992 he was finally appointed by President Václav Havel full Professor of Internal Medicine and physician in chief (4-7).

Publications and presentations

The list of Mydlik’s works includes over 450 scientific publications. Main topics were metabolic changes in chronic renal failure, metabolic disorders of some vitamins in chronic renal failure, renal replacement therapy, uremic toxins, hemoperfusion in acute poisoning in vivo and in vitro.

He discussed  his findings (over 785 presentations) in domestic and international congresses in Europe, USA, South America, Asia. He also organized many nephrological congresses and symposiums in Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, most of them with international participation (1970-2012). He also started awarding the honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa of P.J. Šafárik University  in Košice. In the years 1993-2006 the title was awarded to various outstanding scientists including 7 professors of nephrology (Shaul Massry, Joel Kopple, Horst Klinkmann, Franciszek Kokot, Natale G De Santo, Guido Bellinghieri and  Vittorio Bonomini). He was very active till the end of 2017 by teaching medicine for foreign and Slovak students, and by working one day a week in the outpatient clinic and one day a week as scientific worker at the Medical Faculty.

Clinical care

Professor M. Mydlik, as the former Head of Dialysis unit (1966-1992) of the  4th Internal Clinic (1992 – 1997) and the Nephrological Clinic (1997-2003) of the Medical School of P.J. Šafarik University and University Hospital of L. Pasteur in Košice, made significant clinical experiences with 1,300 patients, who underwent renal biopsy, with 1,500 patients undergoing renal replacement therapy and with 380 patients with acute poisonings (8).

Positions covered

Professor Mydlik was Head of the Subchair of Nephrology  and  Dialysis of  Postgraduate School of Medicine in Bratislava ( 1991-2003); President of the Medical Association in Košice (1990-2002); Prorector of the P.J. Šafárik University in Košice (1994–1997); Main specialist for nephrology of the Ministry of Health, Slovak Republic (1994-2007); Member of the board of Slovak Nephrological Society (1969-2007) (4-8).

From 2010 (Figure 2) to 2017 Professor Mydlik was a promoter of Survival Is Not Enough, an event organized by the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies for the World Kidney day enrolling economists, philosophers, patients, nurses, technicians and nephrologists. In those years he organized  in association with Katka Derzsiova an event in Kezmarok.  He contributed various appealing papers on patient’s needs and his name appears  as editor of  various books published by the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies. Figure 2 also shows that at the age of 78 years he could attract the Rector, the Dean of the Medical Faculty, the Mayor of the City,  the President of the Slovak Society of Nephrology and the President of the Slovck Society of Medicine.That is to say that his Alma Mater respected him and allowed him to work till the end in great freedom and he was respected by renowned scientists of his country.

In September 2016 Professor Mydlik was a founder of the European Association of Professors Emeriti (EAPE) in Athens, where he gave an epochal talk and was elected in the Council at Large of the newly founded association and helped to promote the initial growth of the association (9).

Congresses in the year 2017

The last international talk was given at Wloclawek in Poland, at the 2017 Congress of the International Association for the History of Nephrology. The last talks in Slovakia were given in November 2017. At the Meeting on Preventive medicine he spoke about Renal Disease and Aging. At the Franz Kafka Medical and Literary Memorial in Kežmarok, there was a ceremony for the release of the book of Miroslav Mydlik and Katka Derzsiova entitled Lung Tuberculosis of Franz Kafka. The influence of Disease on His Literary Work. For that book events were planned at the P.J. Śafárik University in Košice and at the Franz Kafka Center in Prague. But they could not take place.

Professor Mydlik was diagnosed myastenia gravis in 2016. He healed and his condition was stabilized. In January 2018 for a spine problem he underwent surgery. For various complications he needed long lasting hospitalization at the St. Lukas Geriatric Center. On   September 6, 2018, he died. His funeral took place on the subsequent day, people of the University, University Hospital and patients participated in the event. There were many outstanding talks from prominent speakers. He was buried at the Rozalia Cemetery in Košice (8, 9).


“He was Honorary Member of the Polish  Society of Nephrology (1994), Honorary Member of Slovak (1997) and Czech Medical Society (2002), and correspondent Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

Miroslav Mydlik was Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Bruxelles (Belgium), at the Nephrological Clinic of the Medical University in Katowice (Poland) following invitation of Professor Franciszek Kokot and the Moscow Institute of Medicine of the Academy of URSS at invitation of Professor Irina J. Tareieva.

Miroslav Mydlik was awarded the Purkyně Medal of Czechoslovak Medical Society (1979); The International Distinguished Medal of the National Kidney Foundation (USA), (1994); The Medal of the University of Messina, Italy (2000); The Medal “Sigillo Magno“ of the University of Bologna (2002); The Medal “Golden Kidney“ of the Slovak Nephrological Society (2002); Professor Emeritus of P.J. Šafárik University, Košice (2004); The Medal of Campania Sicily Branch of the Italian Society Branch of Nephrology; The Teofil  Rudolf Niederland Price— the highest honor conferred  by the  Slovak Medical Society—awarded  by the Presidium of Slovak Medical Society, as the highest prize to a top specialist (only one scientist per year) for long-term significant scientific and professional activities in the field of medicine and pharmacy  (Bratislava, 2009); The Gold Medal of P.J. Šafárik University, Košice (2009); “The Lifelong Contribution Award for Medical and Biological Sciences” awarded by the Board of the Literary Fund of the Slovak Republic (2014); On December 8th, 2015, he was introduced into the “Hall of Glory of Slovak Medicine” in Bratislava. On September 27, 2018, at the Meeting of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Medicine of UPJŠ, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of its foundation, Professor Miroslav Mydlik was awarded a medal in memoriam. The celebration took place in the House of Arts, in the concert hall of the Košice Philharmonic Orchestra” (8).

Cultural interests

He was interested in world literature, theatre, classical music, history of Egypt, Greece and Italy and history of medicine. He founded the Franz Kafka Monument in Tatranské Matliare (High Tatras) in 2001,  and was the organizer of 8 International medical and literary symposiums dedicated to Franz Kafka in the years 2001-2014. In association with Julius Vajó he was the editor of a significant book History of the University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice (Figure 3). He was also a co-author of the first Slovak monograph in nephrology: Dzúrik R., Šašinka M., Mydlík M., Kovács L., et al. Nephrology. Bratislava, Herba comp. Ltd. 2004 (877 pages).


Thanks are due Carmela Bisaccia, a member of IAHN, for significant editing.

  1. Mydlik M. Jan Brod and his contributions to hypertension and nephrology. J Nephrol 2011; 24(S17): S73-S76.
  2. Ulrych M, Burianová B, Hornych A, Mydlík M, Douša T, Hejl Z. Comparison of direct and indirect methods of measurement of arterial blood pressure in man. Cor Vasa 1966; 8: 77-88
  3. Mydlik M and Dersziova K. The 50-year history of the Nephrology Department in Košice (Slovak Republic). J Nephrol 2006; 19 (suppl 10): S173-s178.
  4. Derzsiová K, Spustová V. Profesor MUDr. Miroslav Mydlík, DrSc., sedemdesiatpäťročný./Professor Miroslav Mydlík, MD, DSc., seventy-five-year-old. Vnitř Lék  2007; 53(7-8):866-868.
  5. Mydlík M,  Derzsiová K. 50-ročná publikačná činnosť v časopise Vnitřní Lékařství./50-year publishing activity in the journal Vnitřní  Lékařství.  Vnitř Lék 2012; 58:76-79.
  6. Spustová V. Prof. MUDr. Miroslav Mydlík, DrSc. – Editoriál./ Professor Miroslav Mydlík, MD, DrSc. – Editorial. Lek Obz  2017; 66 (6): 199.
  7. Derzsiová K, Spustová V. Významné životné jubileum profesora MUDr. Miroslava Mydlíka, DrSc./ Important life jubilee of Professor Miroslav Mydlík, MD, DSc.Vnitř Lék 2012; 58(7 a8): 8-11.
  8. De Santo NG and Derzsiova K. Professor Miroslav Mydlik (Košice 1932-2018) – The scientist, the teacher and the man. Obituary  in the ERA-EDTA Website, available at:
  9. De Santo NG. Miroslav Midlyk, MD, DrSc (Košice 1932-2018). Obituary for the Website of the European Association of Professors Emeriti /
Figure Legends

Figure 1. Professor Miroslav Mydlik (1932-2018).

Figure 2. Speakers at  Survival Is Not Enough. Kežmarok in 2010. From the left: Professor  Miroslav Mydlík, MD, DrSc. – Professor Emeritus of UPJŠ; Professor Leonard Siegfried, MD, PhD,  Dean of the Medical Faculty of UPJŠ; Ing .Igor Šajtlava, Major of the Kežmarok; Professor Ladislav Mirossay MD, DrSc, Rector of the UPJŠ;  Professor Viera Spustová, MD, DrSc, President of the Slovak Nephrological Society; Professor  Peter Krištúfek, MD, PhD, President of the Slovak Medical Society.

Figure 3. Mydlik M and Vajó J. History of the University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice. P. J. Šafárik University, Košice  2013 (469 pages).