Excerpt from The London Medical Gazette, Vol. 1: Being a Weekly Journal of Medicine and the Collateral Sciences; For the Session 1843-44
From the earliest ages of medicine, the diseases of the liver have attracted much attention, and occupied a large space in' medical literature. Before the functions of the liver were clearly made out, or its inti mate structure known, anatomists saw, in the large size of this organ, in its existence in animals differing widely in organization and habits, and in the obvious relation of its secretion to the process of digestion, sufficient evidence of its vast importance in the living economy, and of the serious con sequences that must result from derangement of its functions.
This evidence has been greatly enhanced and extended by the more explicit results of modern inquiry. Guided by the truth, of comparatively recent discovery, that a gland may be regarded as essentially consisting of a net-work of capillaries investing a secretory duct, anatomists have discovered a liver in the form of coecal tubes, opening into the intestinal canal, in the very lowest animals, and have thus furnished the highest testi mony that can be given to the importance of an organ namely, its all but universal pre sence throughout the animal kingdom.
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