Biochemical Analysis Of The Liver Functions Of Two Hundred Southern Rhodesian Children And Young Adults (Part I)
Sommer, William George
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That liver disease in Africa is a major health problem is well known; less well known and understood is the inter-relation of the various possible etiological factors. Higginson, et al., in a study done on liver biopsies of various age groups in the Republic of South Africa examined the relationship between the fatty changes seen in kwashiorkor of children and the diffuse portal fibrosis and severe cirrhosis seen in adulthood. He concluded, “The age gap between the fatty liver of kwashiorkor and appearance of the more severe degrees of diffuse portal fibrosis indicated that the latter was not a direct sequel of kwashiorkor.” This conclusion would indicate that histologically normal liver parenchyma can be regained during adolescence and early adult life despite the most severe form of malnutrition in childhood. Thus the presence of early poor nutrition would not seem to be an important etiological factor in the development of the severe adult liver disease seen in Southern Africa.