The pathogenesis,* biological effects,† and reversibility ‡ of hepatic fibrosis have been extensively studied in experimental animals. Difference in structure and physiology of the liver in humans and in lower vertebrates prevents direct application of these findings to man.12 Postmortem observations § and in vivo biopsies ∥ correlated with animal experiments provide a background for additional study. This paper records further clinical observations on the histogenesis, significance, and influence of therapy on hepatic fibrosis. The study is based on serial needle biopsies of the liver correlated with clinical and biochemical abnormalities.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Clinical material included 237 patients with nutritional liver disease, 41 with extrahepatic biliary obstruction, 30 with viral hepatitis, and 75 with congestive heart failure. Liver-function tests used in these patients included determination of serum bilirubin,26 serum alkaline phosphatase,27 sulfobromophthalein excretion,28 serum cholesterol and esters,29 serum albumin and globulin,30 cephalin flocculation,31