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Jaundice

Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions and/or sclera Sclera The white, opaque, fibrous, outer tunic of the eyeball, covering it entirely excepting the segment covered anteriorly by the cornea. It is essentially avascular but contains apertures for vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. Eye: Anatomy caused by the accumulation of bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology, or excretion of bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism. Etiologies often involve the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy and can be prehepatic, intrahepatic, or posthepatic. Other symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia include pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), pale stools, and darkened urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat. The diagnosis is made based on liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function tests and imaging. Management is focused on treatment of the underlying condition.

Last updated: 26 May, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Definition

  • Jaundice
    • Discoloration of the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions and mucous membranes
    • Begins at serum bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism > 4–5 mg/dL
  • Scleral icterus
    • Discoloration of the sclera Sclera The white, opaque, fibrous, outer tunic of the eyeball, covering it entirely excepting the segment covered anteriorly by the cornea. It is essentially avascular but contains apertures for vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. Eye: Anatomy (eyes)
    • Begins at serum bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism > 2–3 mg/dL

Pathophysiology

Jaundice is caused by an elevation of serum bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism (hyperbilirubinemia), which can be caused by:

  • Prehepatic pathologies
    • Often occur due to increased hemolysis
    • Causes increased unconjugated (indirect) bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • Includes physiologic neonatal jaundice
      • Caused by immature UDP-glucuronosyltransferase; occurs within 24 hours of birth and often resolves without treatment in 12 weeks
  • Intrahepatic pathologies
    • May be due to 
      • Defective hepatic uptake
      • Defective bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology
    • Causes an increase in both conjugated (direct) and unconjugated (indirect) bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
  • Posthepatic pathologies
    • Often occur due to 
      • Decreased bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy (via the biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy)
      • Increased reuptake of bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • Causes an increase in conjugated (direct) bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
Normal extrahepatic circulation of bilirubin

Normal extrahepatic circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment of bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Mnemonic

Common causes of hyperbilirubinemia can be remembered with the mnemonic HOT Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy:

  • Hemolysis
  • Obstruction
  • Tumor
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease

Etiology

Etiologies of jaundice can be broken down as conditions that cause either an elevation in indirect, direct, or mixed hyperbilirubinemia (see table below).

Causes of isolated hyperbilirubinemia
Indirect (unconjugated) hyperbilirubinemia Hemolytic disorders Inherited:
  • Spherocytosis
  • Glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance-6- phosphate Phosphate Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid. Electrolytes dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Pyruvate Pyruvate Derivatives of pyruvic acid, including its salts and esters. Glycolysis kinase deficiency
  • Sickle cell anemia Sickle cell anemia A disease characterized by chronic hemolytic anemia, episodic painful crises, and pathologic involvement of many organs. It is the clinical expression of homozygosity for hemoglobin S. Sickle Cell Disease
Acquired:
  • Hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare but serious acquired hemolytic anemia with periodic exacerbations. This anemia is caused by nonmalignant clonal expansion of ≥ 1 hematopoietic stem cells that have acquired a somatic mutation of the phosphatidylinositol N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase subunit A (PIG-A) gene. Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria
  • Parasitic infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease ( malaria Malaria Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease affecting humans and other animals. Most commonly transmitted via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with microorganisms of the Plasmodium genus. Patients present with fever, chills, myalgia, headache, and diaphoresis. Plasmodium/Malaria, babesiosis Babesiosis Babesiosis is an infection caused by a protozoa belonging to the genus, Babesia. The most common Babesia seen in the United States is B. microti, which is transmitted by the Ixodes tick. The protozoa thrive and replicate within host erythrocytes. Lysis of erythrocytes and the body’s immune response result in clinical symptoms. Babesia/Babesiosis)
  • Antimalarials (e.g., dapsone Dapsone A sulfone active against a wide range of bacteria but mainly employed for its actions against Mycobacterium leprae. Its mechanism of action is probably similar to that of the sulfonamides which involves inhibition of folic acid synthesis in susceptible organisms. It is also used with pyrimethamine in the treatment of malaria. Antimycobacterial Drugs)
Ineffective erythropoiesis Erythropoiesis The production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). In humans, erythrocytes are produced by the yolk sac in the first trimester; by the liver in the second trimester; by the bone marrow in the third trimester and after birth. In normal individuals, the erythrocyte count in the peripheral blood remains relatively constant implying a balance between the rate of erythrocyte production and rate of destruction. Erythrocytes: Histology Inherited:
  • Thalassemia Thalassemia Thalassemia is a hereditary cause of microcytic hypochromic anemia and results from a deficiency in either the α or β globin chains, resulting in hemoglobinopathy. The presentation of thalassemia depends on the number of defective chains present and can range from being asymptomatic to rendering the more severely affected patients to be transfusion dependent. Thalassemia
Acquired
  • Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 A cobalt-containing coordination compound produced by intestinal microorganisms and found also in soil and water. Higher plants do not concentrate vitamin B 12 from the soil and so are a poor source of the substance as compared with animal tissues. Intrinsic factor is important for the assimilation of vitamin B 12. Folate and Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Severe iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements deficiencies
Increased bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism production Secondary to:
  • Massive blood transfusion
  • Resorption of hematoma Hematoma A collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Hematoma can be localized in an organ, space, or tissue. Intussusception
Decreased bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology
Drugs
  • Rifampin Rifampin A semisynthetic antibiotic produced from streptomyces mediterranei. It has a broad antibacterial spectrum, including activity against several forms of Mycobacterium. In susceptible organisms it inhibits dna-dependent RNA polymerase activity by forming a stable complex with the enzyme. It thus suppresses the initiation of RNA synthesis. Rifampin is bactericidal, and acts on both intracellular and extracellular organisms. Epiglottitis
  • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen overdose
  • Probenecid Probenecid The prototypical uricosuric agent. It inhibits the renal excretion of organic anions and reduces tubular reabsorption of urate. Probenecid has also been used to treat patients with renal impairment, and, because it reduces the renal tubular excretion of other drugs, has been used as an adjunct to antibacterial therapy. Gout Drugs
  • Sulfonamides Sulfonamides A group of compounds that contain the structure so2nh2. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim
Direct (conjugated) hyperbilirubinemia Biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy obstruction Secondary to:
  • Gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis
  • Cholangiocarcinoma Cholangiocarcinoma A malignant tumor arising from the epithelium of the bile ducts. Rare Malignant Liver Tumors
  • Pancreatic/ liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy cancer
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy fluke
  • Postoperative bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy leaks or biliary strictures
Biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy disease
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis and strictures of the bile ducts. The exact etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with IBD. Patients typically present with an insidious onset of fatigue, pruritus, and jaundice, which can progress to cirrhosis and complications related to biliary obstruction. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Primary biliary cholangitis Primary Biliary Cholangitis Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic disease resulting in autoimmune destruction of the intrahepatic bile ducts. The typical presentation is that of a middle-aged woman with pruritus, fatigue, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Elevated liver enzymes and antimitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) establish the diagnosis. Primary Biliary Cholangitis
Decreased excretion/reuptake of bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism:
  • Dubin-Johnson syndrome
  • Rotor syndrome
Mixed (both indirect and direct) hyperbilirubinemia Chronic conditions
  • Hepatitis (viral, autoimmune, toxic, and alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear))
  • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis

Etiologies of jaundice can also be broken down based on the organ system (hepatic and cholestatic conditions).

Hepatocellular conditions

  • Viral hepatitis:
    • Hepatitis A Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), a nonenveloped virus of the Picornaviridae family with single-stranded RNA. HAV causes an acute, highly contagious hepatitis with unspecific prodromal symptoms such as fever and malaise followed by jaundice and elevated liver transaminases. Hepatitis A Virus, B, C, D, and E
    • Epstein-Barr virus Epstein-Barr Virus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. This highly prevalent virus is mostly transmitted through contact with oropharyngeal secretions from an infected individual. The virus can infect epithelial cells and B lymphocytes, where it can undergo lytic replication or latency. Epstein-Barr Virus
    • Cytomegalovirus Cytomegalovirus CMV is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. CMV infections can be transmitted in bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. The initial infection is usually asymptomatic in the immunocompetent host, or it can present with symptoms of mononucleosis. Cytomegalovirus
  • Alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) hepatitis
  • Drug toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • Predictable, dose-dependent (e.g., acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen)
    • Unpredictable, idiosyncratic (e.g., isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs)
  • Environmental toxins:
    • Vinyl chloride Vinyl chloride A gas that has been used as an aerosol propellant and is the starting material for polyvinyl resins. Toxicity studies have shown various adverse effects, particularly the occurrence of liver neoplasms. Rare Malignant Liver Tumors
    • Wild mushrooms Mushrooms Mycology (amanita)
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare form of chronic liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver causing inflammation. It predominantly affects women. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic cases to patients that present with symptoms of acute liver failure (jaundice, right upper quadrant pain). Autoimmune Hepatitis

Cholestatic conditions

Intrahepatic

  • Viral hepatitis
  • Alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) hepatitis
  • Drug toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation:
    • Pure cholestasis: anabolic and contraceptive steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors
    • Cholestatic hepatitis Cholestatic Hepatitis Drug-induced Liver Injury: chlorpromazine Chlorpromazine The prototypical phenothiazine antipsychotic drug. Like the other drugs in this class chlorpromazine’s antipsychotic actions are thought to be due to long-term adaptation by the brain to blocking dopamine receptors. Chlorpromazine has several other actions and therapeutic uses, including as an antiemetic and in the treatment of intractable hiccup. First-Generation Antipsychotics and erythromycin Erythromycin A bacteriostatic antibiotic macrolide produced by streptomyces erythreus. Erythromycin a is considered its major active component. In sensitive organisms, it inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits. This binding process inhibits peptidyl transferase activity and interferes with translocation of amino acids during translation and assembly of proteins. Macrolides and Ketolides estolate
    • Chronic cholestasis: chlorpromazine Chlorpromazine The prototypical phenothiazine antipsychotic drug. Like the other drugs in this class chlorpromazine’s antipsychotic actions are thought to be due to long-term adaptation by the brain to blocking dopamine receptors. Chlorpromazine has several other actions and therapeutic uses, including as an antiemetic and in the treatment of intractable hiccup. First-Generation Antipsychotics and prochlorperazine Prochlorperazine A phenothiazine antipsychotic used principally in the treatment of nausea; vomiting; and vertigo. It is more likely than chlorpromazine to cause extrapyramidal disorders. Antiemetics
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis Biliary cirrhosis Fibrosis of the hepatic parenchyma due to obstruction of bile flow (cholestasis) in the intrahepatic or extrahepatic bile ducts. Primary biliary cholangitis involves the destruction of small intrahepatic bile ducts and decreased bile secretion. Secondary biliary cholangitis is produced by prolonged obstruction of large intrahepatic or extrahepatic bile ducts from a variety of causes. Cystic Fibrosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis and strictures of the bile ducts. The exact etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with IBD. Patients typically present with an insidious onset of fatigue, pruritus, and jaundice, which can progress to cirrhosis and complications related to biliary obstruction. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Vanishing bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy duct syndrome:
    • Chronic rejection Chronic rejection Organ Transplantation of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy transplants
    • Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis
    • Drugs
  • Congestive hepatopathy
  • Ischemic hepatitis
  • Cholestasis of pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
  • Total parenteral nutrition Parenteral nutrition The administering of nutrients for assimilation and utilization by a patient who cannot maintain adequate nutrition by enteral feeding alone. Nutrients are administered by a route other than the alimentary canal (e.g., intravenously, subcutaneously). Central Venous Catheter
  • Graft-versus-host disease Graft-versus-host disease The clinical entity characterized by anorexia, diarrhea, loss of hair, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, growth retardation, and eventual death brought about by the graft vs host reaction. Transfusion Reactions
  • Infiltrative diseases:
    • Tuberculosis Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis
    • Lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
    • Amyloidosis Amyloidosis Amyloidosis is a disease caused by abnormal extracellular tissue deposition of fibrils composed of various misfolded low-molecular-weight protein subunits. These proteins are frequently byproducts of other pathological processes (e.g., multiple myeloma). Amyloidosis
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease:
    • Malaria Malaria Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease affecting humans and other animals. Most commonly transmitted via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with microorganisms of the Plasmodium genus. Patients present with fever, chills, myalgia, headache, and diaphoresis. Plasmodium/Malaria
    • Leptospirosis Leptospirosis Leptospira is a spiral or question mark-shaped, gram-negative spirochete with hook-shaped ends. The major clinical species is Leptospira interrogans, which causes a mild flu-like illness in a majority of cases. The manifestations are biphasic, with Leptospira found in the blood initially. Leptospira/Leptospirosis

Extrahepatic

  • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax:
  • Benign Benign Fibroadenoma:
    • Choledocholithiasis Choledocholithiasis Presence or formation of gallstones in the common bile duct. Cholelithiasis
    • Postoperative biliary strictures
    • Primary sclerosing cholangitis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis and strictures of the bile ducts. The exact etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with IBD. Patients typically present with an insidious onset of fatigue, pruritus, and jaundice, which can progress to cirrhosis and complications related to biliary obstruction. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Chronic pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis
  • AIDS cholangiopathy AIDS cholangiopathy AIDS-defining Conditions
  • Mirizzi’s syndrome
  • Parasitic disease ( ascariasis Ascariasis Ascariasis is most often caused by A. lumbricoides. If symptomatic, characteristics typically follow 2 phases, which correlate with the migration of the parasite through the body. The early phase may include cough, dyspnea, and wheezing. The late phase typically includes abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea, and intermittent diarrhea. Ascaris/Ascariasis)

Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor

  • Jaundice
  • Pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Occurs due to bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy salt deposition
    • Most often seen in posthepatic pathologies
  • Pale, clay-colored stools and darkened urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat
  • In infants, may cause kernicterus Kernicterus A term used pathologically to describe bilirubin staining of the basal ganglia; brain stem; and cerebellum and clinically to describe a syndrome associated with hyperbilirubinemia. Clinical features include athetosis, muscle spasticity or hypotonia, impaired vertical gaze, and deafness. Nonconjugated bilirubin enters the brain and acts as a neurotoxin, often in association with conditions that impair the blood-brain barrier (e.g., sepsis). This condition occurs primarily in neonates, but may rarely occur in adults. Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn: deposition of unconjugated bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification

These symptoms may be associated with:

  • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, chills Chills The sudden sensation of being cold. It may be accompanied by shivering. Fever, right upper quadrant Right upper quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy (RUQ) pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways: may suggest acute cholangitis Acute Cholangitis Acute cholangitis is a life-threatening condition characterized by fever, jaundice, and abdominal pain which develops as a result of stasis and infection of the biliary tract. Septic shock, liver abscess, and multi-organ dysfunction are potential serious complications. Acute Cholangitis
  • Anorexia Anorexia The lack or loss of appetite accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder anorexia nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa, malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus, myalgias Myalgias Painful sensation in the muscles. Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus: may suggest viral hepatitis
  • RUQ abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen: may suggest biliary tract Biliary tract Bile is secreted by hepatocytes into thin channels called canaliculi. These canaliculi lead into slightly larger interlobular bile ductules, which are part of the portal triads at the “corners” of hepatic lobules. The bile leaves the liver via the right and left hepatic ducts, which join together to form the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy obstruction 
  • Hyperpigmentation Hyperpigmentation Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance. Malassezia Fungi: may suggest hemochromatosis Hemochromatosis A disorder of iron metabolism characterized by a triad of hemosiderosis; liver cirrhosis; and diabetes mellitus. It is caused by massive iron deposits in parenchymal cells that may develop after a prolonged increase of iron absorption. Hereditary Hemochromatosis
  • Kayser-Fleischer rings Kayser-Fleischer rings Copper deposits in Descemet’s membrane of the cornea, manifested as green-brown rings that encircle the iris. Wilson’s Disease: may suggest Wilson’s disease
  • Xanthomas Xanthomas Lipid Disorders: may suggest primary biliary cholangitis Primary Biliary Cholangitis Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic disease resulting in autoimmune destruction of the intrahepatic bile ducts. The typical presentation is that of a middle-aged woman with pruritus, fatigue, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Elevated liver enzymes and antimitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) establish the diagnosis. Primary Biliary Cholangitis
  • Signs of chronic liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy failure
    • Ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites
    • Splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly
    • Spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites angiomata
    • Gynecomastia Gynecomastia Gynecomastia is a benign proliferation of male breast glandular ductal tissue, usually bilateral, caused by increased estrogen activity, decreased testosterone activity, or medications. The condition is common and physiological in neonates, adolescent boys, and elderly men. Gynecomastia
  • Courvoisier sign Courvoisier sign Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer on physical exam: palpable gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy; often indicates cystic duct Cystic duct The duct that is connected to the gallbladder and allows the emptying of bile into the common bile duct. Cholecystitis malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax

Diagnosis

  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function tests: 
    • Alkaline phosphatase Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ( ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma), normal range: 40–129 U/L
    • Alanine Alanine A non-essential amino acid that occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids ( ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests), normal range: 7–55 U/L
    • Aspartate Aspartate One of the non-essential amino acids commonly occurring in the l-form. It is found in animals and plants, especially in sugar cane and sugar beets. It may be a neurotransmitter. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids ( AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests), normal range: 8–48 U/L
    • AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests ratio: 2:1 ratio or above is suggestive of alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease.
    • Gamma-glutamyltransferase Gamma-glutamyltransferase An enzyme, sometimes called ggt, with a key role in the synthesis and degradation of glutathione; (GSH, a tripeptide that protects cells from many toxins). It catalyzes the transfer of the gamma-glutamyl moiety to an acceptor amino acid. Liver Function Tests ( GGT GGT An enzyme, sometimes called ggt, with a key role in the synthesis and degradation of glutathione; (gsh, a tripeptide that protects cells from many toxins). It catalyzes the transfer of the gamma-glutamyl moiety to an acceptor amino acid. Alcoholic Liver Disease), normal range: 8–61 U/L
    • Serum bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism (total and unconjugated)
    • Albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests
    • PR/INR ( prothrombin Prothrombin A plasma protein that is the inactive precursor of thrombin. It is converted to thrombin by a prothrombin activator complex consisting of factor Xa, factor V, phospholipid, and calcium ions. Hemostasis time/ international normalized ratio International normalized ratio System established by the world health organization and the international committee on thrombosis and hemostasis for monitoring and reporting blood coagulation tests. Under this system, results are standardized using the international sensitivity index for the particular test reagent/instrument combination used. Hemostasis)
    • LDH LDH Osteosarcoma ( lactate dehydrogenase Lactate Dehydrogenase Osteosarcoma)
    • Haptoglobin
    • Hepatitis serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus
    • Consider autoantibodies Autoantibodies Antibodies that react with self-antigens (autoantigens) of the organism that produced them. Blotting Techniques (see image below)
  • Imaging may include:
    • Ultrasound:
      • Extrahepatic cholestasis: dilated bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ducts (e.g., stones, tumors, cysts Cysts Any fluid-filled closed cavity or sac that is lined by an epithelium. Cysts can be of normal, abnormal, non-neoplastic, or neoplastic tissues. Fibrocystic Change, cholangitis)
      • Intrahepatic cholestasis: most commonly has non-dilated bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ducts
    • ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of Vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (Vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) or MRCP MRCP Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis)
    • Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan

Further workups are outlined in the image below.

Jaundice diagnosis diagram

Key abbreviations:
ANA: antinuclear antibody
SMA: smooth-muscle antibody
SPEP: serum protein electrophoresis Electrophoresis An electrochemical process in which macromolecules or colloidal particles with a net electric charge migrate in a solution under the influence of an electric current. Blotting Techniques
AMA AMA Primary Biliary Cholangitis: antimitochondrial antibody
MRCP MRCP Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography Non-invasive diagnostic technique for visualizing the pancreatic ducts and bile ducts without the use of injected contrast media or x-ray. Mri scans provide excellent sensitivity for duct dilatation, biliary stricture, and intraductal abnormalities. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Types of jaundice (based on lab markers)
Prehepatic Intrahepatic Posthepatic
Stool color Dark Pale, clay-colored Pale, clay-colored
Blood work Indirect bilirubin Indirect Bilirubin Liver Function Tests ↑↑ Normal
Direct bilirubin Direct bilirubin Liver Function Tests Normal ↑↑
Anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types Present Absent Absent
Alkaline phosphatase Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma Normal ↑↑
Transaminases Transaminases A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Autoimmune Hepatitis Normal ↑↑
Urinalysis Urinalysis Examination of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means. Routine urinalysis usually includes performing chemical screening tests, determining specific gravity, observing any unusual color or odor, screening for bacteriuria, and examining the sediment microscopically. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children Color Normal or dark Dark Dark or very dark
Urobilinogen Urobilinogen A colorless compound formed in the intestines by the reduction of bilirubin. Some is excreted in the feces where it is oxidized to urobilin. Some is reabsorbed and re-excreted in the bile as bilirubin. At times, it is re-excreted in the urine, where it may be later oxidized to urobilin. Heme Metabolism ↑↑ Normal or ↑ Low or absent
Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy salt Absent Absent Present

Management

Management is based on treatment of the underlying condition.

  • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis: The goal is to slow or reverse the progression and prevent superimposed insults to the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy.
    • Modify medication as necessary.
    • Correct laboratory abnormalities.
    • Manage symptoms.
    • Ultimately, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy transplant is required.
  • Hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus and C: medical management using antivirals and interferon therapy
  • Alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease: alcohol cessation
  • Primary biliary cholangitis Primary Biliary Cholangitis Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic disease resulting in autoimmune destruction of the intrahepatic bile ducts. The typical presentation is that of a middle-aged woman with pruritus, fatigue, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Elevated liver enzymes and antimitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) establish the diagnosis. Primary Biliary Cholangitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis and strictures of the bile ducts. The exact etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with IBD. Patients typically present with an insidious onset of fatigue, pruritus, and jaundice, which can progress to cirrhosis and complications related to biliary obstruction. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ursodeoxycholic acid Ursodeoxycholic acid An epimer of chenodeoxycholic acid. It is a mammalian bile acid found first in the bear and is apparently either a precursor or a product of chenodeoxycholate. Its administration changes the composition of bile and may dissolve gallstones. It is used as a cholagogue and choleretic. Primary Biliary Cholangitis
  • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis and resection or palliative treatment
  • Cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis and cholecystitis Cholecystitis Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder (GB) usually caused by the obstruction of the cystic duct (acute cholecystitis). Mechanical irritation by gallstones can also produce chronic GB inflammation. Cholecystitis is one of the most common complications of cholelithiasis but inflammation without gallstones can occur in a minority of patients. Cholecystitis ERCP ERCP Fiberoptic endoscopy designed for duodenal observation and cannulation of vater’s ampulla, in order to visualize the pancreatic and biliary duct system by retrograde injection of contrast media. Endoscopic (vater) papillotomy may be performed during this procedure. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis removal or cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of resecting and extracting the gallbladder. It is one of the most common abdominal surgeries performed in the Western world. Cholecystectomy is performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, gallbladder polyps > 0.5 cm, porcelain gallbladder, choledocholithiasis and gallstone pancreatitis, and rarely, for gallbladder cancer. Cholecystectomy
  • Biliary cysts Cysts Any fluid-filled closed cavity or sac that is lined by an epithelium. Cysts can be of normal, abnormal, non-neoplastic, or neoplastic tissues. Fibrocystic Change: surgical excision

Differential Diagnosis

Pseudojaundice (carotenosis): yellow or orange discoloration of the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions caused by deposition of carotene. Can be distinguished from true jaundice because it does not cause discoloration of the conjunctival membranes of the sclerae. Usually secondary to excessive intake of substances rich in carotenoids Carotenoids The general name for a group of fat-soluble pigments found in green, yellow, and leafy vegetables, and yellow fruits. They are aliphatic hydrocarbons containing 4 terpene subunits. Leukoplakia (e.g., multivitamin supplements, oranges, carrots, apples, broccoli, papayas, kale).

References

  1. Namita Roy-Chowdhury, PhD, FAASLD, Jayanta Roy-Chowdhury, MD, MRCP, AGAF, FAASLD. Diagnostic approach to the adult with jaundice or asymptomatic hyperbilirubinemia. Retrieved from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/diagnostic-approach-to-the-adult-with-jaundice-or-asymptomatic-hyperbilirubinemia?search=jaundice&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1
  2. Kasper, D. L., & Braunwald, F. (2017). Harrison’s Principle of Internal Medicine 19th edition, Volume I. Pages 279–285.
  3. Billing BH, Black M. 1969. Bilirubin metabolism. Gut. 10;250-254. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1552848/pdf/gut00694-0010.pdf
  4. Reece, J. B., & Campbell, N. A. (2011). Campbell biology. Boston: Benjamin Cummings/Pearson.
  5. Roy-Chowdhury, Namita, Yang Lu, and Jayanta Roy-Chowdhury. 2007. “Bilirubin metabolism.” Textbook of Hepatology. From Basic Science to Clinical Practice. eds Rodes, Juan et al. 3rd Edition. Blackwell Publishing. Pages 165-174.
  6. Voet, D. & Voet, J.G. (2011). Biochemistry. 4th Edition. New York: J. Wiley and Sons.

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