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Article
April 10, 1915

IS FATTY INFILTRATION A PATHOLOGIC PROCESS?

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(15):1248. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570410046026
Abstract

It is not always easy to draw a sharp distinction between what is physiologic and what is pathologic in some of the processes encountered in the organism. Unusual accumulations of fat are sometimes found in the liver, the myocardium and the pancreas, and less frequently in the kidney, spleen and muscles. As a rule, such occurrences have been looked on as pathologic manifestations, ever since Virchow published his classic discussion of the forms of fatty changes which may be found under abnormal conditions and which he designated as either infiltration or degeneration. Thus, it has been contended that in certain organs fatty degeneration means an infiltration of fat from outside into cells which have been degenerated by the action of poisons or other influences; whereas, in other cases, the increase of fat seldom occurs from these causes, but the cells may show a marked fatty metamorphosis through the setting free

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