In evaluating the status of diseased organs, certain attempts might be directed to the deviations in the normal functions of synthesis and excretion. In the liver such tests have diagnostic limitations, since the degree of parenchymatous involvement does not necessarily parallel the impairment of the various individual functions; moreover, the process of regeneration in the liver is frequently extensive.
The tolerance tests for levulose and galactose, which have received much attention, have not always been very fruitful in the elucidation of the problem. The results obtained with the dye excretion method are too sensitive, and the presence of jaundice causes errors in the quantitative estimation; moreover, there is some hesitancy in employing this method if the liver is already damaged, especially if there is also marked diminution in the excretion of bile. The study of the biliary pigments in the blood enables one to detect the presence of jaundice before