What is the role of increased serum concentration in the pathophysiology of cholestasis?

Updated: Aug 09, 2017
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

Increased serum concentration of nonconjugated bilirubin is present in most patients with cholestasis. The rate of bilirubin conjugation is probably reduced by end-product inhibition or as the result of hepatocyte injury. The rate of bilirubin production may also be increased as the result of hemolysis that can accompany cholestasis.

Newer methods of measuring bilirubin in serum have resulted in the discovery of a fraction of serum bilirubin that is covalently bound to albumin, known as delta bilirubin or biliprotein. This fraction may account for a large proportion of total bilirubin in patients with cholestatic jaundice but is absent in patients with nonconjugated hyperbilirubinemia.


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