This communication will concern itself with the increasing clinical importance of the proteins and protein metabolism in medicine, especially in surgery, and the relationship of hypoproteinemia to apparent and to latent hepatic parenchymal disease. Necessarily it will include a review of all of the available knowledge concerning this branch of normal physiology and of the aberrations of function which occur in disease. It will indicate the extent to which these obtainable data can be used (1) in the corroboration of diagnoses, (2) in the possibility of estimating the degree and the extent of anatomic change, (3) in prognosis and (4) in the evaluation of the risk of contemplated operations. Finally, it will include (5) criteria on which the newer therapeutic measures can be employed.
The importance of the quantity and the quality of dietary protein for the nitrogen requirements of the body and for the maintenance of good