The multiplicity of metabolic and detoxifying functions of the liver and the sensitivity of this organ to acute changes in blood flow and other types of trauma have made the evaluation of acute alterations in hepatic function and blood flow of particular importance in studying the metabolic effects of major surgical procedures or trauma. However, the anatomic position and vascular complexity of the liver has presented difficulty in devising suitable methodology of serial measurement of acute changes in liver function.
The dye-clearing function of the liver provides a logical method for development of techniques for indirect measurement of liver function and the estimation of hepatic blood flow. This has previously been attempted with sulfobromophthalein (Bromsulphalein),1 but the method has been generally considered to be of limited value because of difficulty in obtaining reproducible results since sulfobromophthalein is not removed quantitatively from the circulating blood stream by the liver alone
Andersen MN, Kuchiba K. Measurement of Acute Changes in Liver Function and Blood Flow. Arch Surg. 1970;100(5):541-545. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340230007002