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December 1950

LIVER DYSFUNCTION FOLLOWING ABDOMINAL OPERATIONS: The Significance of Postoperative Hyperbilirubinemia

Author Affiliations

Assistant Resident in Medicine; Associate Attending Physician, Memorial Hospital; Associate, Sloan-Kettering Institute; Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Cornell University Medical School; NEW YORK

From the Department of Medicine, Memorial Center, New York City.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1950;86(6):908-916. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230180113010

SEVERAL reports in the literature deal with the effect of surgical operations on liver function.1 The hippuric acid and sulfobromophthalein (bromsulphalein®) sodium tests have been used in several studies. Tagnon, Robbins and Nichols2 reported changes in the sulfobromophthalein clearance following extra-abdominal operations. In their series of patients there was no consistent postoperative alteration in the thymol turbidity or cephalin flocculation reactions.

The work reported below describes the effect of abdominal operation on the sulfobromophthalein clearance, cephalin flocculation and thymol turbidity. Abnormalities of the two former reactions were observed in a high proportion of the cases reported here. In addition, since sulfobromophthalein clearance parallels bilirubin clearance in dogs,3 an attempt was made to correlate the incidence of postoperative hyperbilirubinemia in this series of patients with the impairment of the sulfobromophthalein clearance.

MATERIAL AND METHODS  The observations were made on patients admitted to the surgical services at Memorial