A young man, who was admitted to hospital acutely ill following the ingestion of half a mouthful of carbon tetrachloride, was investigated for the degree and duration of hepatic and renal damage, using various tests of function. On the basis of the serum bilirubin and enzyme activities, the acute hepatic damage had subsided after 15 days from the time of the accident, but the serum albumin and total proteins returned to normal only after a considerably longer time interval (between 33 and 129 days). There was no evidence of residual hepatic damage after this time.
Acute renal damage reached a maximum about a week after the accident, and recovery of function in respect of the kidneys' power to reabsorb sodium and chloride and to secrete potassium and acid recovered almost completely after three weeks. However, the power of the kidneys to reabsorb water, ie, to produce a concentrated urine, approached normal only after 139 days. Residual renal damage was not evident after this time interval as indicated by the clearance values for creatinine and inorganic phosphate. The significance of the results is discussed.
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