In 1933 Hench1 reported the analgesic effect of jaundice in cases of chronic arthritis, fibrositis and sciatic pain and followed this report with several papers on further observations of the phenomenon. Sidel and Abrams,2 Borman,3 and others have confirmed these observations. Hench stated that bilirubin appears to be the most likely agent responsible for the beneficial effect of jaundice on arthritis. This appears true in view of Race's findings4 that the icteric index and the concentration of serum bilirubin are likely to be low among patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. However, Hench suggested the possibility that bile salts, hepatic autolysate, special diet or other factors may be responsible for the phenomenon. Assuming that the responsible agent ("factor X") is a specific chemical substance or a combination of substances and not a nonspecific set of circumstances, Hench further speculated that this phenomenon results from (a) the correction
BLOCK WD, BUCHANAN OH, FREYBERG RH. SERUM LIPIDS IN PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND IN PATIENTS WITH OBSTRUCTIVE JAUNDICEA COMPARATIVE STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;68(1):18–24. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200070028002
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