Dermatology and aesthetics
JaundiceWhat is jaundice Colostatic jaundice Neonatal jaundice Obstructive jaundice Nuclear jaundice
- Meaning of jaundice
- Colostatic jaundice
- Neonatal jaundice
- Obstructive jaundice
- Nuclear jaundice
Meaning of jaundice
Jaundice is defined as the yellow coloration of the skin, sclera and membranes caused by the excessive increase in bilirubin levels in the blood. Bilirubin is a pigment derived from hemoglobin and can be of two types: the indirect form, which is normally found in the circulation and is carried by plasma albumin, and the direct form, in which bilirubin is conjugated with glucuronic acid, an index that passed through the liver, where it was transformed and made suitable to be eliminated with bile. Direct bilirubin is generally not found in the circulation. The identification of which of the two forms of bilirubin is present in excess gives an indication of the causes of jaundice.
Two major types of jaundice are distinguished: the first, linked to the retention of the free form, is due to the massive destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia) or a hereditary enzyme deficiency of the liver cells (Gilbert's syndrome), while the second, caused by presence of conjugated bilirubin, manifested in conjunction with diseases of the liver and biliary tract (viral or toxic hepatitis, bacterial infection, parasitosis, cirrhosis, malignant tumor, infected lithiasis).
In the presence of jaundice, a blood disorder is suspected if the urine is clear; if, on the other hand, the urine has a dark color, liver or biliary tract disease is likely (for example, an infectious or toxic agent, a mechanical obstacle along the biliary tract). Once the diagnosis is made, treatment is aimed at the cause.
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