Dietary cirrhosis of the liver was produced in 223 rats, and then therapy of the condition attempted. Administration of lipotropic factors (casein, methionine, choline) was followed not only by reduction of fat infiltration and by regeneration of hepatic parenchyma but, by a reduction of the degree of the fibrosis. In one group of rats, comparison of sections obtained by biopsy, before treatment, with findings at necropsy, after completed therapy, indicated apparent reduction of the fibrosis and of the amount of ceroid and considerable restoration of architecture. This improvement, however, was obtained neither with complete regularity nor in a short time. In very severe cirrhosis, as a rule, the effect of a lipotropic diet was disappointing, even after prolonged treatment up to 200 to 240 days. It is assumed that factors determining prevention are beneficial only to a limited extent in treatment. The therapy of very severe cirrhosis may require the interaction of further beneficial factors (nutritional and hormonal).
Best therapeutic results were obtained by the combination of an adequate amount of casein with methionine or liver extract, and by the combination of methionine with liver extract.
Methionine and thiouracil, both of which, singly, are effective in the prevention of dietary hepatic cirrhosis in rats, have proved to be less effective for the therapy of cirrhosis, when administered together, than methionine given alone for the same purpose.
Under identical conditions, female rats have shown greater resistance to the production of dietary hepatic cirrhosis and a more favorable response to therapeutic dietary factors, than male rats.