Curbside Consultation in GI Cancer for the Gastroenterologist: 49 Clinical Questions

Douglas G. Adler, MD

Question 34: A 67-Year-Old Woman With Cirrhosis Develops Hepatocellular Cancer. Shortly After Diagnosis, She Becomes Jaundiced. How Do You Determine If The Jaundice Is Due To Cirrhosis, Biliary Obstruction, Or Both? (continued)

Darryn Potosky, MD; Eric Goldberg, MD

Jaundice is yellow discoloration of the skin as a result of increased serum bilirubin levels. Cholestasis is a pathologic state in which the flow of bile from the liver to the intestines is impaired and can result from intrahepatic dysfunction or extrahepatic obstruction. In patients with cirrhosis, intrahepatic cholestasis can result from a progressive decline in hepatic function or a super-imposed insult to the liver, such as acute viral hepatitis, portal or hepatic venous occlusion, sepsis, drug injury, or alcoholic hepatitis. While most patients with cirrhosis will develop jaundice during…