IT HAS been apparent for years that some aid must be found in making an early diagnosis of diseases of the liver, especially when there is minimal or moderate functional impairment. Employment of needle biopsy of the liver has been useful in this regard, and evidence is accumulating which indicates the value of this procedure.
Through the use of the biopsy needle, new light has been shed on some of the problems which have always been difficult to solve diagnostically. This is well illustrated in instances of prolonged jaundice, in which it is imperative to determine whether the cause is intrahepatic or extrahepatic, in order to institute the proper treatment. Another problem frequently encountered is that of portal cirrhosis, the manifestations of which may be overlooked or difficult to evaluate, especially in early cases or in the presence of disease of the heart and/or kidneys. Similarly, the role of enlargement