What is the definition of Cholestasis?

Cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is slowed or blocked.

What are the alternative names for Cholestasis?

Intrahepatic cholestasis; Extrahepatic cholestasis

What are the causes for Cholestasis?

There are many causes of cholestasis.

Extrahepatic cholestasis occurs outside the liver. It can be caused by:

  • Bile duct tumors
  • Cysts
  • Narrowing of the bile duct (strictures)
  • Stones in the common bile duct
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic tumor or pseudocyst
  • Pressure on the bile ducts due to a nearby mass or tumor
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Intrahepatic cholestasis occurs inside the liver. It can be caused by:

  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Amyloidosis
  • Bacterial abscess in the liver
  • Being fed exclusively through a vein (IV)
  • Lymphoma
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary or metastatic liver cancer
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Serious infections that have spread through the bloodstream (sepsis)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral hepatitis

Certain medicines can also cause cholestasis, including:

  • Antibiotics, such as ampicillin and other penicillins
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Birth control pills
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Cimetidine
  • Estradiol
  • Imipramine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Terbinafine
  • Tolbutamide

What are the symptoms for Cholestasis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Clay-colored or white stools
  • Dark urine
  • Inability to digest certain foods
  • Itching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the right upper part of the abdomen
  • Yellow skin or eyes

What are the current treatments for Cholestasis?

The underlying cause of cholestasis must be treated.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Cholestasis?

How well a person does depends on the disease causing the condition. Stones in the common bile duct can often be removed. This can cure the cholestasis.

Stents can be placed to open areas of the common bile duct that are narrowed or blocked by cancers.

If the condition is caused by the use of a certain medicine, it will often go away when you stop taking that drug.

What are the possible complications for Cholestasis?

Complications may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Organ failure can occur if sepsis develops
  • Poor absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins
  • Severe itching
  • Weak bones (osteomalacia) due to having cholestasis for a very long time

When should I contact a medical professional for Cholestasis?

Call your health care provider if you have:

  • Itching that does not go away
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Other symptoms of cholestasis

How do I prevent Cholestasis?

Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B if you are at risk. Do not use intravenous drugs and share needles.

Gallstones
Gallbladder
Gallbladder

REFERENCES

Eaton JE, Lindor KD. Primary biliary cholangitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 91.

Fogel EL, Sherman S. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 146.

Lidofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 21.

  • Condition: Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
  • Journal: The lancet. Gastroenterology & hepatology
  • Treatment Used: Nab-Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine versus Nab-Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine followed by FOLFIRINOX Induction Chemotherapy
  • Number of Patients: 168
  • Published —
The study researched the outcomes of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine followed by FOLFIRINOX induction chemotherapy for treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer.