Classification and Value of Researches and Tests of Hepatic Dysfunction.
Numerous techniques have been suggested in different times in order to characterise the functional troubles of the liver and specially to put in evidence the insufficiency of the liver. In reality these methods are after deficient and difficult to apply in current practice and even the results given by the tests are far from having an absolute value. A large number of functions of the liver will require numerous biological examinations if one wishes to be complete.
Moreover for each function there are many experiments from which it is difficult to chose one.
1. Biliary Function. It is classical to say that one can put in evidence the troubles of biliary functions by the verification of urobiline in excess in the urine, but at present it is disputable and all the authors do not admit that urobiline is due to a cellular lesion of the hepatics; it is rather due to the obstruction of the biliary duct.
Another test is proposed by Prof. Chiray who recently, with the collaboration of his two collaborators, Milorde Molochewich and Marcel Kipler, has tried to determine the importance of the hepatic cell by studying the variation of biliary salts in the bile sucked out directly by duodenal tubage.
2. Protidic Function. Intestinal diastasis have disintegrated the big molecules of proteins into albumen and in peptones, then into polypeptides and finally into amino acids. It is with these acids hepatic cells may reconstitute the albumen meant for the organism and for the surplus they disintegrate the nitrogenous matters that pass to the phase of dissemination, then by the ammonia phase, in order to become urea one may note the hepatic function by searching in the urine or in the blood the quantity of nitrogenated residues which are not completely transformed into urea. Formerly Albert Robin measured the co- efficient of nitrogen by the formula : nitrogen of urea in the urine divided by total nitrogen of urea. Then he finds out the co-efficient of nitrogen of Maillard and the co-efficient of acidosis of Lanzenberg modified by Derrient and by Feissinger.
Even one can find out the quantity of residual nitrogen in the blood, or even the polypeptides and the amino-acids in the blood. There are a considerable number of examinations proposed for the dosage of all the compounds of nitrogen in the blood.
In order to understand at the same time the functional importance of kidneys and of the liver of almost all the persons suffering from chronic diseases after 40 years of age, I always do systematically chemical examination regarding the quantity of residual nitrogen, uric acid, chlorides, cholesterin and lipides in the urine. It is above all interesting to note the relations that exist between urea and cholesterin, as well between cholesterin and lipide. This helps to understand the so numerous cases of toxaemia due to the slowness of the nutritive function and function of the excretions.
3. The anti-anaphylactic function may be compared with periodic functions, thanks to which the liver holds the incompletely disintegrated proteid substances. Some classical examinations such as digestive hemolysis, examination of the milk, may put in evidence the troubles of that anti-anaphylactic function.
4. Glycogenic and glycopexic function. It helps the liver to transform the glucose into glucocin and to conserve it and to distribute later on according to the need of the organism. One can put in evidence the troubles of this function by different tests, such as provoked hyperglycemia and specially thanks to glycosuria, hinted at first by Bauer. This test has a great importance specially in the research of hepatic insufficiency in surgery.
5. Anti-toxic function. The liver fixes and neutralises the toxins in order to eliminate them in the form of soluble products passing through the kidneys. It is proposed to put in evidence this function by the examination of glycoronuria provoked, or by the measure of the oxydation of urinary Sulphur. These examinations are difficult to realize in current practice.
6. To that anti-toxic function one may compare the chromatogenic function of the liver which consists in the elimination by the liver some colouring substances as for example phenol-tetrachloride, phtalein, carmin-indigo, azoburine, Bengal rose, phenolchloresulpho-nephtaleine.
7. The blood function or function of the liver on the coagulation of blood, is at present disputable. It is not yet known whether fibrinogen is due to hepatic cells.