Cholestasis | Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis & Treatment

Types of cholestasis

A) Obstructive cholestasis

Obstructive cholestasis is a form of cholestasis caused by a blockage or obstruction of the common bile duct. The blockage prevents the normal flow of bile, a digestive fluid produced by the hepatocytes in the liver. This causes the bile to be retained in the liver, leading to a buildup of bile salts in the hepatocytes.

The retained bile salts cause inflammation and injury to the hepatocytes, leading to impaired bile salt uptake and excretion and decreased secretion of bile acids. This disruption of bile flow causes a decrease in the synthesis of bile salts, which in turn reduces the production of lipids, proteins, and vitamins essential for normal digestion.

Furthermore, the accumulation of bile salts in the liver leads to the formation of gallstones, which can cause severe abdominal pain and other complications.

B) Physiologic and neonate cholestasis

Physiologic cholestasis is a condition characterized by the impaired excretion of bile from the liver and subsequent jaundice. Various factors, including immature liver function in newborns, certain medications, and certain diseases, can cause this condition.

Physiologic cholestasis is most commonly observed in newborns and is often called neonatal jaundice. This condition is caused by an immature liver that does not efficiently produce and excrete bile, accumulating bile salts in the body. This results in the yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera, known as jaundice.

Physiologic or neonatal cholestasis is a condition that can potentially be serious if left untreated. It is essential to seek medical attention if a newborn infant is exhibiting signs of jaundice, as early diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce the risk of any long-term complications.