Jaundice is probably one of the most commonly recognized cutaneous markers of liver dysfunction and can occur with all types of liver disease. Typically, the bilirubin level exceeds 2.5 mg/dL before jaundice is evident clinically. The color changes may range from light yellow to dark green, and will affect the skin and the mucosal surfaces. The degree of jaundice will vary in relationship to the level of bilirubin elevation. Generalized pruritus can develop from a variety of conditions, but when present in conjunction with jaundice, requires consideration of a hepatobiliary source. A thorough and timely diagnostic approach must be undertaken starting with a comprehensive history, blood work, and radiologic evaluation. Differential considerations must include hematologic conditions, biliary obstruction, hepatic failure, and renal disease. Appropriate management of jaundice and pruritus may include cholangiography and /or surgery. Although the mechanism for pruritus is poorly understood, there are a variety of management options, including several medications, which can be employed to afford the patient relief particularly in the setting of advanced stage liver disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Practical Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Liver and Biliary Disease|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Aug 31 2010|
- Bile duct obstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas