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July 29, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(5):270-271. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450570023002h

For the purpose of this paper it will be assumed that the gall-bladder is not necessary to the health or wellbeing of the individual, for many cases are now upon record where the gall-bladder has been removed and the patients remain in perfect health.

That this should be so is quite reasonable when the anatomy and physiology of the bile passages are examined. The liver secretes in a person of average size about forty-two ounces of bile in twenty-four hours, or in other words, as much bile as urine. This bile passes off into the pylorus through the hepatic and common ducts, while a very small quantity, possibly half an ounce, backs through the cystic duct into the gall-bladder. So far as I am aware, no one has shown that the gall-bladder performs any physiologic function.

Birch and Sprong report, in the Journal of Physiology, that in two patients upon

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