Cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is slowed or blocked.
There are many causes of cholestasis.
Extrahepatic cholestasis occurs outside the liver. It can be caused by:
Intrahepatic cholestasis occurs inside the liver. It can be caused by:
Certain medications can also cause cholestasis, including:
Imaging tests are used to diagnose this condition. Tests include:
The underlying cause of cholestasis must be treated.
How well a person does depends on the disease causing the condition. Stones in the common bile duct usually can be removed, curing the cholestasis.
Stents can be placed to open areas of the common bile duct that are narrowed or blocked by cancers.
Call your health care provider if you have:
Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B if you are at risk. Avoid intravenous drug use and needle sharing.
Intrahepatic cholestasis; Extrahepatic cholestasis
Zollner G, Trauner M. Mechanisms of cholestasis. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2008;12:1-26.
Afdhal NH. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 158.
Updated by: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California.
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