Jaundice historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Farnaz Khalighinejad, MD [2]


Jaundice comes from the French word jaune, meaning yellow. It was once believed persons suffering from the medical condition jaundice saw everything as yellow, but this is not true. In 1885, Luhrman noted jaundice as an adverse effect of vaccination. In 1935, A. O. Whipple, an American surgeon first described obstructive jaundice. Many viruses that cause hepatitis and jaundice was discovered in 1950-2000.

Historical Perspective


  • Jaundice comes from the French word jaune in circa 1300 AD, meaning yellow. And the word ‘jaunis’ itself is derived from an earlier French word ‘jalnice'.[1]
  • In 1885, Luhrman noted jaundice as an adverse effect of vaccination.[2]

Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

  • In 1935, A. O. Whipple invented the concept of preoperative biliary drainage by the procedure of staged pancreatoduodenectomy.[4]
  • Since 1982, a vaccine against hepatitis B has been available.[10]
  • In 1992, the Global Advisory Group to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that hepatitis B vaccine be incorporated into national immunization programs in all countries by 1997.[11]
  • In 1986 first effort to develop interferon-alpha (IFN-a) treatment against HCV was initiated by Jay Houston Hoofnagle.[12]
  • The drug was finally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for HCV treatment in 1991.[13]
  • In 1997 was first used to treat HCV.[13]
  • In 1998 The FDA approved the use of combination therapy of interferon alpha and ribavirin.[13]
  • Newer HCV protease inhibitors, such as telepravir, were developed in 2007.[13]


  1. "www.etymonline.com".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Trepo, Christian (2014). "A brief history of hepatitis milestones". Liver International. 34: 29–37. doi:10.1111/liv.12409. ISSN 1478-3223.
  3. Schmid R (1986). "Viral hepatitis: dogmatism revisited". Trans. Am. Clin. Climatol. Assoc. 97: 53–7. PMC 2279696. PMID 3915843.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Whipple AO, Parsons WB, Mullins CR (1935). "TREATMENT OF CARCINOMA OF THE AMPULLA OF VATER". Ann Surg. 102 (4): 763–79. PMC 1391173. PMID 17856666.
  5. Trepo C (2014). "A brief history of hepatitis milestones". Liver Int. 34 Suppl 1: 29–37. doi:10.1111/liv.12409. PMID 24373076.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Thomas RE, Lorenzetti DL, Spragins W (2013). "Mortality and morbidity among military personnel and civilians during the 1930s and World War II from transmission of hepatitis during yellow fever vaccination: systematic review". Am J Public Health. 103 (3): e16–29. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301158. PMC 3673520. PMID 23327242.
  7. Bradley DW, Maynard JE, Popper H, Cook EH, Ebert JW, McCaustland KA, Schable CA, Fields HA (1983). "Posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis: physicochemical properties of two distinct agents". J. Infect. Dis. 148 (2): 254–65. PMID 6411832.
  8. Simons JN, Pilot-Matias TJ, Leary TP, Dawson GJ, Desai SM, Schlauder GG, Muerhoff AS, Erker JC, Buijk SL, Chalmers ML (April 1995). "Identification of two flavivirus-like genomes in the GB hepatitis agent". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 92 (8): 3401–5. PMC 42174. PMID 7724574.
  9. Bendinelli M, Pistello M, Maggi F, Fornai C, Freer G, Vatteroni ML (January 2001). "Molecular properties, biology, and clinical implications of TT virus, a recently identified widespread infectious agent of humans". Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 14 (1): 98–113. doi:10.1128/CMR.14.1.98-113.2001. PMC 88963. PMID 11148004.
  10. Alter HJ, Blumberg BS (March 1966). "Further studies on a "new" human isoprecipitin system (Australia antigen)". Blood. 27 (3): 297–309. PMID 5930797.
  11. "apps.who.int" (PDF).
  12. Hoofnagle JH, Mullen KD, Jones DB, Rustgi V, Di Bisceglie A, Peters M, Waggoner JG, Park Y, Jones EA (December 1986). "Treatment of chronic non-A,non-B hepatitis with recombinant human alpha interferon. A preliminary report". N. Engl. J. Med. 315 (25): 1575–8. doi:10.1056/NEJM198612183152503. PMID 3097544.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Bodenheimer HC, Lindsay KL, Davis GL, Lewis JH, Thung SN, Seeff LB (August 1997). "Tolerance and efficacy of oral ribavirin treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a multicenter trial". Hepatology. 26 (2): 473–7. doi:10.1002/hep.510260231. PMID 9252161.

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