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June 1951

LIVER CIRRHOSIS: Relation Between Function and Structure Based on Biopsy Studies

Author Affiliations


From the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research and the Department of Pathology of Cook County Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School and the Department of Medicine of Cook County Hospital and University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1951;87(6):844-862. doi:10.1001/archinte.1951.03810060073008

THE RELATION of hepatic structure and function is not well understood at present. Certainly they are related; the problem is to recognize and understand the relationship.

Needle biopsy of the liver is useful in this regard because histologic examination can be made to correspond closely in time with functional evaluation. It is recognized that this procedure may not represent focal disease well,1 that the small sample may be misleading in judging the degree of abnormality of certain features,2 that processing the specimen may effect histochemical alteration3 and that criteria for judging abnormality are not yet uniform among observers.

Several investigators have recently commented on the lack of correlation between histologic and functional alterations recognizable by current techniques.4 Others have concluded that correlations can be found, although they are not numerous.5 Because perfect correlation cannot be expected in biologic material, it is useful not only to