Imaging tests are used to diagnose this condition. Tests include:
CT scan of the abdomen
MRI of the abdomen
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) (can also determine cause)
Ultrasound of the abdomen
The underlying cause of cholestasis must be treated.
How well a person does depends on the disease causing the condition. Stones in the common bile duct usually can be removed, curing the cholestasis.
Stents can be placed to open areas of the common bile duct that are narrowed or blocked by cancers.
Organ failure can occur if sepsis develops
Poor absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins
Weak bones (osteomalacia) due to having cholestasis for a very long time
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have:
Yellow skin or eyes
Other symptoms of cholestasis
Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B if you are at risk. Avoid intravenous drug use and needle sharing.
Zollner G, Trauner M. Mechanisms of cholestasis. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2008;12:1-26.
Afdhal NH. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 158.
David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California.