In a previous article1 dealing with the metabolism of galactose, we discussed the work of various investigators and detailed some of our own observations leading to the conclusion that galactose offers the best means of investigating the carbohydrate function of the liver. We do not consider it adequate as a routine test for liver function; on the contrary, its limitations are definite, and it is precisely these limitations that enable it to serve a special purpose, that of an aid in the differential diagnosis of jaundice.
The discovery of the glycogenic function of the liver in 1857 by Claude Bernard at once stimulated the interest of clinicians as well as physiologists and pathologists in the question of carbohydrate metabolism. This interest was soon manifest in an extensive literature, and the idea of utilizing the sugars for testing hepatic function was a natural outgrowth. Such attempts, however, resulted in divergent results,
SHAY H, SCHLOSS EM, RODIS I. II. THE GALACTOSE TOLERANCE TEST IN THE DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS OF JAUNDICE. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1931;47(4):650-659. doi:10.1001/archinte.1931.00140220139009