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Am Fam Physician. 2017 Feb 1;95(3):164-168.

Evaluation of Jaundice in Adults.

Author information

1
Bavaria Medical Activity, Vilseck, Germany.
2
Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA, USA.
3
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Jaundice in adults can be an indicator of significant underlying disease. It is caused by elevated serum bilirubin levels in the unconjugated or conjugated form. The evaluation of jaundice relies on the history and physical examination. The initial laboratory evaluation should include fractionated bilirubin, a complete blood count, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, ?-glutamyltransferase, prothrombin time and/or international normalized ratio, albumin, and protein. Imaging with ultrasonography or computed tomography can differentiate between extrahepatic obstructive and intrahepatic parenchymal disorders. Ultrasonography is the least invasive and least expensive imaging method. A more extensive evaluation may include additional cancer screening, biliary imaging, autoimmune antibody assays, and liver biopsy. Unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia occurs with increased bilirubin production caused by red blood cell destruction, such as hemolytic disorders, and disorders of impaired bilirubin conjugation, such as Gilbert syndrome. Conjugated hyperbilirubinemia occurs in disorders of hepatocellular damage, such as viral and alcoholic hepatitis, and cholestatic disorders, such as choledocholithiasis and neoplastic obstruction of the biliary tree.

PMID:
28145671
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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