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January 4, 1971

Liver Disease

JAMA. 1971;215(1):123. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180140087033

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This small monograph offers its reader an excellent review of both normal and abnormal liver function. Dr. Paton has brought controversial and difficult problems to light through the use of precise and carefully phrased definitions, excellent drawings, and electron micrographs. The topics covered were well chosen. They include hepatitis, cholangitis, a lengthy discussion of hepatic failure, and a chapter on the methods available for investigation and assay of liver function. Allusions to new topics such as Australian antigen and alphatoxins whet the appetite for further reading.

Although concisely written and clearly illustrated, Liver Disease contains a number of disturbing features. The initial chapter on liver function and structure fails to provide a clear understanding of the liver's complex nature. This would be remedied by less emphasis on metabolic pathways and a more detailed histological description. Dr. Paton also makes a number of provocative statements on recent advances in various areas