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Jaundice in Adults (cont.)

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Pre-hepatic causes

Jaundice caused during the pre-hepatic phase is due to the excessive destruction (hemolysis) of red blood cells from various conditions. This rapid increase in bilirubin levels in the bloodstream overwhelms the liver's capability to properly metabolize the bilirubin, and consequently the levels of unconjugated bilirubin increase. Conditions which can lead to an increase in the hemolysis of red blood cells include:

  • Malaria,
  • Sickle cell disease,
  • Hereditary spherocytosis,
  • Thalassemia,
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD),
  • Drugs or other toxins, and
  • Autoimmune disorders.

Hepatic causes

Jaundice caused during the hepatic phase can arise from abnormalities in the metabolism and/or excretion of bilirubin. This can lead to increase in both unconjugated and/or conjugated bilirubin levels. Conditions with a hepatic cause of jaundice include:

  • Acute or chronic hepatitis (commonly viral [Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E] or alcohol related),
  • Cirrhosis (caused by various conditions),
  • Drugs or other toxins,
  • Crigler-Najjar syndrome,
  • Autoimmune disorders,
  • Gilbert's syndrome, and
  • Liver cancer.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/6/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/jaundice_in_adults/article.htm

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