The elimination of bile pigment during jaundice is, for practical purposes, unincreased by diuresis from water by mouth. Possibly, though, the flushing of the kidneys tends to lessen pigment accumulation within these organs and thus to diminish a serious potential source of trouble in long continued jaundice. Flood diuresis from intravenous injections of salt solution markedly increases the output of bile pigment. It is important to know the effect of variations in the urinary output on the elimination of bile salts, but methods for the purpose are not available at present.

The passage of bile pigment into the kidney cells during jaundice is attested by the presence in the freshly voided urine of desquamated renal elements specifically stained, stippled, or granulated with bilirubin. Pigmentation of this sort is readily to be distinguished from the indiscriminate staining of cellular debris that occurs in icteric urines on standing. It has clinical significance, furnishing direct evidence on the degree of renal change.

This content is only available as a PDF.