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August 1921


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Laboratories, Beth Israel Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1921;28(2):142-150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1921.00100140019002

The pathology of acute yellow atrophy of the liver, idiopathic in its etiology, was first described by Rokitansky, who regarded the process as one of "bilious liquefaction." According to him, an excess of the elements of bile is formed in the blood of the portal vein which prevades the entire vascular apparatus of the liver, and causes destruction of the hepatic glandular structure by liquefaction. This view, which is obsolete now, was partially concurred in by Henoch and by Von Dusch. Henoch thought that the atrophy was due to a polycholia with consequent distention of the biliary capillaries and resultant compression of the blood vessels which ultimately interferes with the hepatic nutrition. Von Dusch ascribed the disease to a paralysis of the bile ducts and lymph vessels which gives rise to an infiltration of the organ with bile, and finally to a cellular destruction.

Bright was the first to attribute

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