EUHM Resident Report: What is the relation of bilirubin levels to jaundice abnormalities?

The Bottom Line: Jaundice occurs when there are disruptions along this metabolic pathway, causing  an increase in unconjugated bilirubin (e.g., from increased red blood cell destruction or impaired bilirubin conjugation) or conjugated bilirubin.

Figure 1.  An algorithmic approach to the evaluation of jaundice in adults  page 165

Fargo, M., Grogan, S., & Saguil, A. (n.d.). Evaluation of Jaundice in Adults. American Family Physician., 95(3), 164-168.

Unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia occurs with increased bilirubin production caused by red blood cell destruction, such as hemolytic disorders, and disorders of impaired bilirubin conjugation, such as Gilbert syndrome. Conjugated hyperbilirubinemia occurs in disorders of hepatocellular damage, such as viral and alcoholic hepatitis, and cholestatic disorders, such as choledocholithiasis and neoplastic obstruction of the biliary tree.

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