Conditions associated with jaundice

Alternative names
Jaundice-associated conditions

Definition
Jaundice-associated conditions are diseases or conditions that cause yellow skin (jaundice).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Jaundice is a symptom of liver and gallbladder disorders. The skin and the eyes become yellow due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the skin.
Jaundice-associated conditions include:

     
  • Viral hepatitis (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E)  
  • Obstruction of the bile ducts (by infection, tumor, biliary stricture or gallstones)  
  • Pancreatic carcinoma (cancer of the pancreas)  
  • Cirrhosis (all causes)  
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis  
  • Autoimmune hepatitis  
  • Drug-induced cholestasis (bile pools in the liver because of the effects of drugs)  
  • Drug-induced hepatitis (hepatitis triggered by medications)  
  • Ischemic hepatitis (jaundice caused by inadequate oxygen and/or inadequate blood flow to the liver)  
  • Gilbert’s syndrome  
  • Dubin-Johnson syndrome  
  • Biliary atresia  
  • Newborn jaundice  
  • Congenital disorders of bilirubin metabolism  
  • Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (bile pools in the liver)  
  • Hemolytic anemia  
  • Malaria

For more information, see the symptom document about jaundice, also see the individual diseases.

Symptoms

     
  • Yellow skin  
  • Yellow sclera (the white part of the eyes)

Other symptoms may also be present depending on the specific disorder.

Signs and tests
Physical examination will show jaundice. Other signs may also be present, such as liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) with some of the disorders.

Tests will vary but will probably include liver function tests to determine how well the liver is working. See the specific disorders.

Treatment
All jaundice-associated conditions require medical diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, the only treatment needed may be observation, but ALWAYS consult with your health care provider.

Expectations (prognosis)
The outcome varies.

Complications
Complications vary, but can include liver failure (life-threatening).

Calling your health care provider
JAUNDICE IN AN INFANT, CHILD, OR ADULT SHOULD ALWAYS BE MEDICALLY EVALUATED!

Prevention
Prevention depends on the disorder which causes the jaundice.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 2, 2012
by Arthur A. Poghosian, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.