Cholestasis (intra and extra) is a condition marked by the reduction or complete blockage of bile flow.
Cholestasis (intra and extra) can develop into an infection. Chronic bile duct obstruction always leads to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). It may also cause osteoporosis (fragile bones), or osteomalacia (soft bones).
Extrahepatic cholestasis occurs when there is a blockage outside of the liver. It is linked to bile duct tumors, cysts, narrowing of the bile ducts, stones in the common bile duct, pancreatitis, pancreatic tumor, bile duct pressure, or primary sclerosing cholangitis.
Intrahepatic cholestasis occurs when there is a blockage inside the liver. It is linked to alcoholic liver disease, amyloidosis, bacterial liver abscess, IV feeding, lymphoma, pregnancy, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, sarcoidosis, sepsis, tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis.
The use of certain medications can also contribute to the development of cholestasis (intra and extra), including antibiotics, anabolic steroids, birth control pills, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, imipramine, prochlorperazine, terbinafine, and tolbutamide.
Blood tests will be given to check for elevated bilirubin and alkaline phosphates. Other diagnostic tools include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), ultrasound,CT scan, and MRI.
The focus of treatment is on the underlying cause of cholestasis.
Vaccinate for hepatitis A and B; avoid drugs and sharing needles.
Seek immediate medical assistance if you have any of the symptoms of cholestasis.