We have recently had the opportunity of observing a patient who presented at one time both polycythemia and thrombosis of the hepatic veins. This combination occurs not infrequently and has aroused the interest of clinicians for many years.1 Most authors have assumed that thrombosis of the hepatic veins in this instance is secondary to thrombocytosis and slowing of the blood flow, but Oppenheimer1a credited Weber with the suggestion that polycythemia may actually be the result of occlusion of the hepatic veins. We have been unable to trace this statement to the writings of Parkes Weber, although he mentioned2 "erythrocytosis due to stasis not of cardiac or pulmonary origin."
We hoped to resolve experimentally the order of appearance of polycythemia and thrombosis of the hepatic veins. To do this we produced occlusion of the hepatic veins by mechanical means and subsequently studied the effects on the blood.