Jaundice is a clinical finding denoted by yellow discolouration of the skin, sclera and mucous membranes, and caused by the deposition of bile pigment.

Patients may present to the Emergency Department with jaundice in isolation, or with other complaints and symptoms. Alone, jaundice has no adverse effects (except in the neonate).

It is the task of the Emergency Physician to evaluate the cause of jaundice by arranging appropriate initial investigations, and making a decision regarding the need for admission and further investigation and management.

Abbreviations used in this session

The following abbreviations are used in this session:

Table 1 Abbreviations used in this session
GI Gastro intestinal ALP Alkaline phosphatase
AST Aspartate aminotransferase GGT Gammaglutamyltransferase
U/L Units/litre PBC Primary biliary cirrhosis
PSC Primary sclerosing cholangitis LFT Liver function tests
HAS Human albumin solution GCS Glasgow coma scale
INR International normalised ratio RUQ Right upper quadrant