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June 17, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(24):2509-2510. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800240002007a

In 1933 Hench1 reported analgesia accompanying hepatitis and jaundice in cases of arthritis, fibrositis and sciatic pain. The exact mechanism responsible for the improvement in these cases has not been determined.

After this observation he produced artificial jaundice by the intravenous administration of bilirubin. The results obtained, however, were not entirely satisfactory and were not comparable to those observed after natural jaundice.2 Thompson and Wyatt3 reported that the results of injections were not as satisfactory when bilirubin was used alone as when it was combined with the sodium salt of dehydrocholic acid (decholin sodium).

It is doubtful, however, that the results of either natural or artificial jaundice are due entirely to the increased serum bilirubin, because relief of symptoms has been observed when there was no evidence of jaundice. In a previous paper I4 reported that the relief of arthritic pain followed an attack of urticaria