Liver Function Tests

A Plea for Their Application in Tropical Medicine

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Many of our older conceptions of bile formation and of jaundice require revision, especially the location and method of formation of bile pigment. This revision is made evident by the van den Bergh test which is a modification of Ehrlich's diazo-reaction. It has really been from a study of the different varieties of jaundice by this method that our modern conception of the physiology of the formation of bile pigment has been drawn, emphasizing again that scientific physiology must keep in contact with modern medical research, just as this correlation has been necessary in the past.

It has been established that bilirubin is produced by the breakdown of the red corpuscles by the cells of the reticulo-endothelial system. The time at my disposal prevents me from giving all the evidence supporting this view but it is supported by the finding of increased bile pigment in the blood in conditions of hemorrhagic effusions and extravasations.