Which histologic findings are characteristic of cholestasis?

Updated: Aug 09, 2017
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Many histologic findings are disease specific; therefore, refer to articles about disease states (see Causes). The typical histopathologic features of hepatocellular cholestasis include the presence of bile within hepatocytes and canalicular spaces, in association with generalized cholate injury. Typical of obstructive cholestasis is bile plugging of the interlobular bile ducts, portal expansion, and bile duct proliferation in association with centrilobular cholate injury.

Differentiating between idiopathic neonatal hepatitis and biliary atresia is a diagnostic challenge. With expert evaluation, nothing contributes as much to that differential diagnosis as the findings on percutaneous liver biopsy.

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