Author: Lindsay Reid, Janet Skinner / Editor: Wayne Hamer / Reviewer: Michael Perry, Grace McKay, Ahmad Alabood / Codes: A3 / Published: 15/06/2023

This session provides an overview of the assessment and management of patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with jaundice.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Describe the physiological basis for jaundice
  • Discuss the likely causes of jaundice in a patient who presents to the emergency department
  • Approach clinical assessment in a systematic manner in terms of formulating a differential diagnosis
  • Demonstrate a rational approach to ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in a patient with jaundice
  • Identify those patients that require urgent GI or surgical assessment


  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Jaundice in adults. NICE CKS, Last revised 2020.
  2. BMJ Best Practice – Assessment of Jaundice. London: BMJ Publishing Group, 2019. Last updated: 07 Feb 2023
  3. Cadogan M. Bilirubin and Jaundice. Life in the Fast Lane, 2023.
  4. Nickson C. Liver Transplantation for Paracetamol Toxicity. Life in the Fast Lane, 2020.

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