As early as 1862, Austin Flint Jr.1 described what he considered to be "a new excretory function of the liver consisting in the removal of cholesterine from the blood and its discharge from the body in the form of stercorine." At this early date he had already attempted to differentiate by means of the level of the cholesterol in the blood the jaundice "dependent upon the obstruction of the bile in the one case and its suppression in the other." Not much could be done further, because the methods of extracting and estimating the pure cholesterol from the various body fluids were difficult and tedious.
In recent years interest in the relationship of the liver to cholesterol metabolism has been renewed. The impetus has come from the development of newer and more accurate methods for the determination of cholesterol in the blood, body fluids and tissues, especially since the
EPSTEIN EZ, GREENSPAN EB. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHOLESTEROL PARTITION OF THE BLOOD PLASMA IN HEPATIC AND IN BILIARY DISEASES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1936;58(5):860-890. doi:10.1001/archinte.1936.00170150097007