Cirrhosis historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sudarshana Datta, MD [2]


The first description of the clinical picture and pathologic appearance of cirrhosis, was published in 1761. René Laennec coined the term "cirrhosis" in 1819. The word "cirrhosis" was derived from the Greek term kirrhos, meaning "tawny" (to describe the orange-yellow or tan color of the diseased liver). In 1930, the first theory explaining the pathogenesis of cirrhosis was presented by Roessle and terms such as parenchymal degeneration, regeneration and scarring were mentioned.

Historical Perspective


  • In 1761, the transformation of the liver in cirrhotic patients was identified by the first anatomic pathologist, Gianbattista Morgagni after conducting 500 autopsies.[1]
  • In 1819, René Laennec coined the term "cirrhosis".[2]
  • The word "cirrhosis" was derived from the Greek term kirrhos, meaning "tawny" (to describe the orange-yellow or tan color of the diseased liver).[1]
  • In 1851, primary biliary cirrhosis was described by Addison and Gull at Guy's Hospital Report, the title of the study being, "On a certain affectation of skin-vitiligoiedea-alpha plana-beta tuberosa".

Landmark Events


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Liver Cirrhosis".
  2. Roguin A. Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781-1826): the man behind the stethoscope. Clin Med Res 2006;4:230-5. PMID 17048358.
  3. Heathcote EJ (2003). "Primary biliary cirrhosis: historical perspective". Clin Liver Dis. 7 (4): 735–40. PMID 14594128.

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