IT HAS been known for many years that complete ligation of the arterial supply to the liver is rapidly fatal in several mammalian species. Autopsy examination of animals which have died in this way always shows massive necrosis of the liver. The mechanism of death and the pathological changes leading to it have never been understood satisfactorily. The view which predominates through the literature is based on the assumption that anemic necrosis and subsequent liver failure constitute the important events in the process.
It is of interest that bacterial infection has been implicated previously as a factor in the cause of death following peritoneal implantation of liver tissue—the so-called in-vivo autolysis of the liver. In 1930 Ellis and Dragstedt1 isolated an anaerobic bacillus from normal dog liver. They found that fetal liver was harmless when implanted into the peritoneum and correlated this finding with the fact that fetal liver