Jaundice: a basic review

Muhammad Waseem Abbas, Talha Shamshad, Muhammad Aizaz Ashraf, Rukhsar Javaid


Jaundice is a complex disease. Jaundice is actually the high bilirubin level in the body. Yellowing of skin, mucous membranes and skin are common presentations of jaundice. Jaundice has various variants including pre-hepatic jaundice (due to hemolysis of red blood cells), hepatic jaundice (due to defect in capture, conjugation and excretion of bilirubin by liver) and post hepatic jaundice (due to the obstruction of extra hepatobiliary system). The causes of various variants of Jaundice is either acquired or congenital. High plasma bilirubin level can cause various manifestations involving satiety, gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, anemia, edema, weight-loss and can be fatal because it can cause psychosis, lethargy, seizures, coma or even death. High bilirubin level can help in the diagnosis of Jaundice. Differential diagnosis of various variants of Jaundice can be carried out on the basis of bilirubin level (conjugated and unconjugated), ultrasonography and other radiological techniques. The proper management of Jaundice is high water intake and low fat diet. The primary effective treatment for pre-hepatic jaundice and neonatal physiological jaundice is phototherapy. Infusion of immunoglobulins is also used for treatment of pre-hepatic jaundice. Proper nutrition, steroids and immunosuppressant are used for treatment of hepatic jaundice. The treatment for post hepatic jaundice is decompression and surgery.


Jaundice, Hyperbilirubinemia, Hemolysis, Hepatobiliary, Obstruction

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