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February 15, 1958


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Hospital.

JAMA. 1958;166(7):764-771. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.62990070006012

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Introduction  The past two decades have witnessed the development of a much more hopeful attitude about cirrhosis of the liver. Prior to World War II, the presence of either jaundice or ascites was regarded as a highly ominous sign in these cases. Their concomitant occurrence was generally accepted as indicating a hopeless prognosis, although prior to 1941 occasional cases showed unexpected and even dramatic improvement, the basis of which was not clear. Patek first emphasized that a good diet and abstinence from alcohol often resulted in striking improvement, even complete remission of symptoms, and the possibility of return to normal life. During the period between the World Wars, there was a strong tendency to accept the dictum of the French school, "There is but one cirrhosis," and to depart from earlier definitive classifications, such as Mallory's, in which widely differing types and etiology were recognized. The supposed unity of the

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