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July 14, 1962


JAMA. 1962;181(2):154. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050280084011

Although earlier studies of hepatic function in subjects with acute hypoxia showed no abnormalities, S. Berendsohn1 believes that this was due to an insufficiently prolonged hypoxia or to a failure to use sufficiently sensitive tests. That hepatic function might be decreased in such subjects would follow from the fact that the liver normally consumes more oxygen than most organs. Berendsohn used a battery of liver function tests on a group of 30 men between the ages of 21 and 40 who were born and were living at sea level and a second group of 30 men of the same age who were born and were living at an altitude of 14,900 ft. None of the subjects in either group had had any hepatic disease.

When he compared the results, he found that the blood level of total bilirubin was increased in the subjects in Group 2. This increase was

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