[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 29, 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Cook County Hospital, the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pathology, University of Illinois College of Medicine; the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Cook County Graduate School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1943;122(5):279-285. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840220011003

Knowledge of the functional status of the liver, gained by the use of tests, is growing in importance in medicine and surgery. Such tests are particularly helpful (1) in patients with jaundice and (2) in some without jaundice as in (a) cirrhosis of the liver, (b) gallbladder disease, (c) controlling the therapy with hepatotoxic drugs and (d) hyperthyroidism.

Our object is to give the indications and uses of liver function tests based on our experience gained from examination and study of 563 jaundiced and 112 nonjaundiced patients. In 111 of these cases which came to operation our studies were supplemented by histologic and fluorescence microscopic examination of liver biopsy specimens.

WHICH LIVER FUNCTION TESTS ARE USEFUL?  The answer to the question Which liver function tests are useful? depends first on whether or not the patient is jaundiced.

  1. In jaundice, the usual problem is to decide