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January 21, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(3):200. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560030036016

Perhaps no disease presents more difficult problems in its etiology and pathogenesis than does cirrhosis of the liver. Experiments have shown that various toxic substances administered to animals produce degenerative changes in the liver, and that when this administration is prolonged for a considerable period, increase of the interstitial tissue follows. Nevertheless, the results of such experiments have been inconstant, and the lesion which has been obtained has rarely possessed the clinical and anatomic characters of the cirrhosis common in man. Alcohol, particularly, although its abuse has been recognized clinically as a cause of cirrhosis in man, has not been found to produce experimentally in animals the pathologic condition of the liver found in human cirrhosis.

E. L. Opie1 in his experiments has shown that bacteria in association with toxic substances having a special affinity for the liver, such as chloroform and phosphorus, may produce changes which neither the