Jaundice-associated conditions are diseases or conditions that cause yellow skin (jaundice).
Conditions associated with jaundice
Jaundice is a sign of liver, gallbladder, or certain blood disorders. The skin and the eyes become yellow due to the buildup of bilirubin in the skin and "white" of the eye (sclera).
Conditions associated with jaundice include:
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Hepatitis due to the effects of drugs (drug-induced hepatitis)
- Jaundice caused by reduced oxygen or blood flow to the liver (ischemic hepatitis)
- Viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E)
Gallbladder and bile duct disorders:
- Biliary atresia
- Blockage of the bile ducts (by infection, tumor, biliary stricture or gallstones)
- Gallbladder and bile duct cancers
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Bile pools in the liver because of the effects of drugs (drug-induced cholestasis)
- Congenital disorders of bilirubin metabolism
- Dubin-Johnson syndrome
- Gilbert disease
- Dark urine
- Pale or clay-colored stools
- Yellow in the white part of the eyes (sclera)
- Yellow skin
Other symptoms depend on the specific disorder:
- Cancers may produce no symptoms, or there may be fatigue, weight loss, or other symptoms
- Hepatitis may produce nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or other symptoms
Exams and Tests
Physical examination will show:
- Liver swelling (possibly)
Specific tests vary, but will include blood liver function tests to determine how well the liver is working.
Other tests may include:
All jaundice-associated conditions need to be diagnosed and treated. In some cases, you will only need observation, but always talk to your health care provider.
The outcome varies.
Complications vary, but can include life-threatening liver failure.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your health care provider if you develop symptoms of jaundice.
Prevention depends on the disorder that causes the jaundice.
Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007: chap 150.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Lonstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.