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June 16, 1962

Bile Pigments in Health and Disease

JAMA. 1962;180(11):989-990. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050240085031

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


An interesting monograph has appeared in which the various aspects of bile pigment are discussed in regard to their clinical applications. As part of the "Living Chemistry Series," this volume stresses the close relationship between chemistry and medicine so that a better understanding of heme breakdown can be achieved.

Sections under discussion include the chemistry of the bile pigments with emphasis on the chemical makeup, classification, the bilatrienes, the biladienes, the bilenes, the bilanes, oxidation products, reactions, potical activity, prototopy, and nomenclature. Other chapters are centered around hemoglobin breakdown, urobilinoid pigments, bile pigment in the blood and the van den Bergh reaction, bile pigments in the body fluids and tissues, biosynthesis, conjugates, clinical jaundice including retention jaundice, regurgitation jaundice, jaundice in infancy, and hemolytic disease of the newborn, and lastly, clinical methods and interpretation.

I was particularly interested in learning that Virchow in 1847 first noted the relationship between the