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April 20, 1970

Effect of Glucagon on Hepatic Blood Flow

JAMA. 1970;212(3):482. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170160070026

To the Editor:—  Glucagon was discovered in 1923 as a contaminant of early insulin preparations. Since that time a welter of observations and facts have been accumulated on which the current day assessment of glucagon's place in clinical medicine must be made.A recent study by Kock et al1 has prompted us to apply their findings in an attempt to increase portal vein blood flow following hepatic artery ligation for metastatic cancer to the liver.Kock et al demonstrated in dogs by use of the electromagnetic flow meter that following the intravenous administration of 10μg/kg of glucagon a 90% maximal increase in portal vein flow occurred associated with a 70% increase in portal pressure. The effect was maximal in approximately 5 minutes and then decreased appoximating normal flow and pressure readings at 35 minutes.It is known that the portal vein in the human supplies approximately 75% of the