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September 1954

HEPATIC COMA: Its Current Status

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(3):331-333. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250030001001

FOR MANY centuries it has been observed that patients with disease of the liver at times lapse into a deep sleep and die. It also has been recognized for a long time that some of these patients exhibit peculiar nervous and mental reactions prior to going into the state of unconsciousness known as "hepatic coma." For these reasons some relationship between the liver and the brain was postulated early. For many years little attention was paid to this type of coma, chiefly because it was nearly always fatal and to most observers simply represented the terminal phase of a hopeless disease.

Chester Jones 1 in 1936 first emphasized the value of glucose in the treatment of liver failure. Although spontaneous recovery from hepatic coma had been reported prior to this time, since 1936 it has been observed not infrequently, and interest in this subject has mounted. A few years later

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