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May 21, 1973

The Liver

JAMA. 1973;224(8):1191. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220220089033

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The first percutaneous needle biopsies of the human liver were performed in Italy more than 75 years ago. Almost 50 years passed before those first halting steps led to battalions of investigators advancing confidently on man's largest organ which, fortunately, possesses great regenerative powers. The result has been an accumulation of an enormous amount of research, speculation, and literature addressed to liver disorders. An improved understanding of both disease in general and liver disease in particular has resulted from much of this activity, especially from that correlating epidemiologic and clinical information with the findings of the anatomic and clinical laboratory.

Of the many volumes written about liver disorders during the past 15 years, this is the first sponsored by the International Academy of Pathology. Thus, this volume reflects the strong histopathologic orientation of its sponsor; the limited discussion of the clinically useful contributions from immunology, serology, and biochemistry may disappoint