An increase in the phosphatase activity of the blood of patients with jaundice was first noted by Roberts1 in 1930. In a subsequent study of fifty-two cases, Roberts2 found that the phosphatase level was consistently and markedly elevated in patients with obstructive jaundice, whereas in patients with toxic and catarrhal jaundice the values were only slightly raised or within normal limits. Roberts concluded that by determining the phosphatase activity of the blood, jaundice of the obstructive type could be distinguished readily from toxic, infective and catarrhal jaundice. Subsequent investigators have confirmed the finding of an increase in the phosphatase activity of the blood in jaundice due to obstruction of the extrahepatic biliary tract, both in patients3 and in experimental animals,4 and the validity of this observation is generally accepted. In jaundice due to hepatitis, however, the results of determinations of blood phosphatase recorded by different observers
FLOOD CA, GUTMAN TB, GUTMAN AB. PHOSPHATASE ACTIVITY, INORGANIC PHOSPHORUS AND CALCIUM OF SERUM IN DISEASE OF LIVER AND BILIARY TRACT: A STUDY OF ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE CASES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1937;59(6):981–999. doi:10.1001/archinte.1937.00170220057004
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