The Eck fistula shunts the portal blood around the liver which receives its blood only by way of the hepatic artery. There are slight gross and histological changes in the Eck fistula liver of the dog. There is evidence at times of some functional abnormalities of the liver due to the Eck fistula but the dog can tolerate this fistula for 1 to 8 years and appear normal.
Chloroform is tolerated by the Eck fistula dog, which may take twice a lethal dose for the control dog without evidence of significant liver injury. Acacia given by vein is deposited in the Eck fistula liver and impairs further its functional capacity to contribute to hemoglobin production.
The stress of anemia brings out the fact that the anemic Eck fistula animal cannot utilize standard diet factors and iron as efficiently as the anemic non-Eck control dog. The output of new hemoglobin in some instances may drop to one-fourth of normal.
When hypoproteinemia alone or combined with anemia is produced in the Eck fistula dog, we observe at times very low production of plasma protein—seven a drop to one-tenth of normal.
This interrelation of liver abnormality, liver dysfunction, and lessened plasma protein and hemoglobin production is significant. It is generally accepted that the liver is concerned with the production of several plasma proteins—fibrinogen, prothrombin, and albumin.
The experiments above indicate that the liver is concerned directly or indirectly with the production of new hemoglobin. Our belief is that the liver contributes to the fabrication of hemoglobin by means of the mobile plasma proteins which to a large extent derive from the liver.