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Aetiology of intrahepatic cholestasis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The most common causes of intrahepatic cholestasis are:

  • cirrhosis
  • drug reactions e.g. phenothiazines

Other causes include:

  • viral hepatitis
  • alcoholic hepatitis
  • sclerosing cholangitis
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • septicaemia
  • liver tumours: secondaries more common than primary
  • benign intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Rare causes include:

  • Dubin-Johnson syndrome
  • benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis
  • intrahepatic biliary atresia / infantile cholangiopathy
  • Hodgkin's disease: mechanism unknown
  • inspissated bile in cystic fibrosis
  • erythropoietic protoporphyria may cause precipitation of protoporphyrins in canalicular ducts
  • Caroli's disease

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