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February 1956

Diseases of the Liver: Medical Aspects

Author Affiliations

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;72(2):205-209. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01270200021005

Medical aspects of liver disease include the great majority of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures possible at this time. While biopsy at laparotomy is still a frequent, very useful method for diagnosis and despite recent bold attacks upon malignant disease of the liver with whole-lobe resections, most diseases of the liver are managed by medical men and not by surgeons. The one outstanding exception is biliary cirrhosis due to extrahepatic obstruction.

Our most frequent tasks include diagnosis and management of cirrhosis, the differential diagnosis of jaundice, and the problem of hepatitis. There is a growing awareness of our responsibility for prophylaxis against certain types of liver disease, notably cirrhosis and serum hepatitis. To a smaller extent but still worthy of long-range planning, one might forsee better control of the hygienic and other factors which may eventually be identified with infectious hepatitis. The evidence that gamma globulin can confer reasonably dependable temporary

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