• Cholestatic jaundice is a yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes or eyes triggered by cholestasis, or stoppage of digestive bile. Cholestasis has a number of potential causes both within and outside the liver.

    The Facts

    According to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, jaundice occurs when excessive amounts of the pigment bilirubin build up inside the body. In cholestasis, this buildup happens when digestive bile created in the liver cannot reach its normal destination in the small intestine.

    Causes Within the Liver

    Causes of cholestasis inside the liver include viral hepatitis, cirrhosis (liver scarring), intravenous feeding, pregnancy, lymphoma, bacterial abscess and a buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloids) called amyloidosis.

    Causes Outside the Liver

    Causes of cholestasis outside the liver include bile duct stones and tumors, cysts, pancreatic cancer or inflammation, bile duct narrowing and pressure from adjacent tumors or other masses.


    When cholestatic jaundice persists, it may trigger the development of yellowed fatty deposits in the skin or a "muddy" skin tone.

    Additional Cholestasis Symptoms

    In addition to jaundice, classic symptoms of cholestasis include generalized itching, dark urine and pale stools. Some individuals also experience vomiting, abdominal pain, fever or loss of appetite.


    The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library - Cholestasis

    The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library - Jaundice

    University of Maryland Medical Center - Cholestasis

    More Information:

    U.S. Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health: Cholestasis

Copyright 2023, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy