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December 10, 1955

TREATMENT OF ACUTE INFECTIOUS HEPATITIS IN THE ARMED FORCESADVANTAGES OF AD LIB. BED REST AND EARLY RECONDITIONING

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army (Res.); Boston; U. S. N.; Laredo, Texas; New York; Syracuse, N. Y.; Hines, Ill.; Boston

From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Boston City Hospital, the departments of medicine and preventive medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Army Medical Service Graduate School, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C. Dr. Chalmers is now at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston; Dr. Reynolds at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; and Dr. Eckhardt at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Iowa City.

JAMA. 1955;159(15):1431-1434. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960320007003
Abstract

Prior to World War II, the treatment of acute infectious hepatitis, or catarrhal jaundice as it was then frequently called, was the same as for other viral diseases: rest was prescribed during the acute phase but not enforced after the patient felt well and jaundice had begun to subside. During World War II, it was noted that relapses seemed to be associated with early ambulation, and, in addition, in three controlled studies1 it was shown that patients treated with a high-protein diet and strict bed rest had a shorter duration of hospitalization than those on a regimen of ad lib. rest and ad lib. diet. Emphasis was placed on an exercise tolerance test as a means of detecting harmful residual activity of the disease.2

As a result of these studies, there has been general agreement for the last 10 years that rest in bed should be strict and

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