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May 11, 1918


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1918;70(19):1361-1364. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600190017006

The liver is the central metabolic laboratory of the human body responsible for the final preparation of nutritive material for conversion into tissue-building and energizing substances. A brief review of some of its anatomic and physiologic characteristics may not be out of place. The weight of the average liver in man is 50 ounces, with a normal variation of about 10 per cent. It may be assumed, therefore, that a liver weighing more than 55 ounces is increased in size and might properly be called hypertrophic, and one weighing less than 45 ounces might be called atrophic, unless such difference could be explained by the size, above or below the normal, of the person. If the weight of the liver is an indication of its metabolic activities, the liver of the female should be larger in proportion than that of the male, made so by the necessity of taking care

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