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August 1956

The Hepatorenal Syndrome: A Historical Review

Author Affiliations

Cranston, R. I.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(2):224-227. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280020038008

The hepatorenal syndrome has been the subject of controversy for many years. The diversity of opinion ranges from complete denial of the disease to full acceptance. Many authors are loath to make the diagnosis of hepatorenal syndrome on clinical findings alone, maintaining that only rarely were they able to verify the diagnosis at autopsy. Others feel that the clinical syndrome is a real entity, maintaining that the condition is commoner than is appreciated.* To many it has become a wastebasket diagnosis to explain all obscure complications in patients with biliary tract and hepatic disease. These differences of opinion, together with an incomplete understanding of the disease, have rendered the term meaningless.

In recent years, except for a few case reports, very few publications have appeared in the American literature concerning the hepatorenal syndrome. A discussion of the disease with a review of the literature seems pertinent at this time.