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February 4, 1939

THE ETIOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS OF ALCOHOLIC CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER

Author Affiliations

SAN FRANCISCO

From the Division of Pathology, University of California Medical School.

JAMA. 1939;112(5):387-390. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800050001001
Abstract

In order to orient the subject of alcoholic cirrhosis and to understand the differences between it and other cirrhoses of the liver, it is necessary first to review briefly from an etiologic and anatomic point of view the types encountered, as nearly as this is possible at the present time. In a classification the terms Laënnec's and atrophic cirrhosis must be abandoned. "Laënnec's cirrhosis" means exactly nothing when a proper separation of types is attempted. To clinicians it may imply a symptom complex, but this can be imitated by so many conditions, such as syphilis or carcinoma of the liver, that even in that sense the term can be of but little value. "Atrophic cirrhosis" is more informative to the pathologist, as it occurs most commonly after large amounts of liver tissue have been destroyed, but "atrophic" is only a relative term, used differently by different observers and varying in

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