For more than two decades medical literature has been replete with publications bearing on hepatic physiology in health and disease and on laboratory methods of studying hepatic function. Much of the work has been highly specialized and of interest chiefly to investigators engaged in similar studies. The general practitioner has not found in the reports of such studies as much assistance as he might like in dealing with clinical problems of hepatic and biliary disease. In fact, he might easily be excused for pleading ignorance of the matter and leaving the study of the jaundiced patient to persons and organizations specially equipped to deal with such matters.
For several cogent reasons, however, the practitioner may be required to turn his attention again to the matter of diagnosis in the case of jaundiced persons. During the war years the most extensive epidemic of infectious jaundice on record swept across Europe, the
SNELL AM. FUNDAMENTALS IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF JAUNDICE. JAMA. 1948;138(4):274–279. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900040018004
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