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Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinemia Clinical Presentation

  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MB, BCh, FRCP, , DTM&H; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
 
Updated: May 02, 2016
 

History

Increased bilirubin production

Ineffective erythropoiesis (ELB production) is characterized by the onset of asymptomatic jaundice.

Impaired conjugation of bilirubin

Crigler-Najjar (CN) syndrome type 1

Apart from jaundice, the affected infant usually appears healthy at birth. Jaundice develops in the first few days of life and rapidly progresses by the second week; therefore, exchange transfusion is warranted despite phototherapy. A family history that includes consanguinity, relatives with severe jaundice without hemolysis, or relatives with evidence of liver disease and a history of exchange transfusion further supports the diagnosis.

Because of its autosomal recessive transmission, consanguinity is a risk factor for Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 1.

Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 2

Usually, no clinical symptoms are reported with this disease entity. However, bilirubin encephalopathy has been reported.

Gilbert syndrome

Diagnosis is made in patients who have no past history of liver disease and manifest only jaundice on clinical examination.

At least 30% of patients with Gilbert syndrome are asymptomatic, although nonspecific symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, fatigue, and malaise, are common. No relationship exists between abdominal symptoms and plasma bilirubin levels.

Abdominal symptoms may be multifactorial, with underlying anxiety probably playing an important role. Although it is true that not all patients with Gilbert syndrome and abdominal symptoms are anxious, they nonetheless appear to have organic-type discomfort that is hard to characterize and frequently eludes diagnosis.

Neonatal jaundice

Physiologic

Physiologic jaundice is clinically obvious in 50% of neonates during the first 5 days of life.

Nonphysiologic

In maternal serum jaundice (Lucey-Driscoll syndrome), jaundice occurs during the first 4 days of life.

Next

Physical Examination

Crigler-Najjar syndrome

Type 1

Apart from jaundice, physical findings are usually normal in Crigler Najjar syndrome type 1, with no signs of hemolysis or liver disease.

Type 2

Patients with Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 2 appear healthy at birth, with no signs of liver disease. Patients may present with evidence of kernicterus, the clinical manifestations of which are hypotonia, deafness, oculomotor palsy, lethargy, and, ultimately, death.

Gilbert syndrome

Apart from mild jaundice, physical examination findings in people with Gilbert syndrome are normal.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Hisham Nazer, MB, BCh, FRCP, , DTM&H Professor of Pediatrics, Consultant in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Clinical Nutrition, University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine, Jordan

Hisham Nazer, MB, BCh, FRCP, , DTM&H is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for Physician Leadership, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF Chief of Gastroenterology, Presbyterian Hospital; Medical Director of Endoscopy, Presbyterian Medical Group; Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF is a member of the following medical societies: American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

BS Anand, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine

BS Anand, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Ann Ouyang, MBBS Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Attending Physician, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Milton S Hershey Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Julian Katz, MD Clinical Professor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine

Julian Katz, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, American Trauma Society, Association of American Medical Colleges, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

BS Anand, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine

BS Anand, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Showkat Bashir, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Showkat Bashir, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David Eric Bernstein, MD Director of Hepatology, North Shore University Hospital; Professor of Clinical Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

David Eric Bernstein, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Manoop S Bhutani, MD Professor, Co-Director, Center for Endoscopic Research, Training and Innovation (CERTAIN), Director, Center for Endoscopic Ultrasound, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Texas Medical Branch; Director, Endoscopic Research and Development, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Manoop S Bhutani, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jack Bragg, DO Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine

Jack Bragg, DO is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Osteopathic Internists and American Osteopathic Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Annie T Chemmanur, MD Attending Physician, Metrowest Medical Center and University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, Marlborough Campus

Annie T Chemmanur, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Gastroenterological Association, American Medical Association, and Massachusetts Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Carmen Cuffari, MD Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology/Nutrition, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Carmen Cuffari, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Gautam Dehadrai, MD Department Chair, Section Chief, Department of Interventional Radiology, Norman Regional Hospital

Gautam Dehadrai, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Radiology, Medical Council of India, and Radiological Society of North America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jayant Deodhar, MD Associate Professor in Pediatrics, BJ Medical College, India; Honorary Consultant, Departments of Pediatrics and Neonatology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, India

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Shirley Donelson, MD Program Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical School

Shirley Donelson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Medical Association, and Mississippi State Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Sandeep Mukherjee, MB, BCh, MPH, FRCPC Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Consulting Staff, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Veteran Affairs Medical Center

Disclosure: Merck Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Ikaria Pharmaceuticals Honoraria Board membership

Dena Nazer, MD Medical Director, Child Protection Center, Children's Hospital of Michigan; Assistant Professor, Wayne State University

Dena Nazer, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Ambulatory Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and Helfer Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Mohamed Othman, MD Resident Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Nuri Ozden, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Meharry Medical College

Nuri Ozden, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Tushar Patel, MB, ChB Professor of Medicine, Ohio State University Medical Center

Tushar Patel, MB, ChB is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and American Gastroenterological Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David A Piccoli, MD Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

David A Piccoli, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterological Association, and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Alessio Pigazzi, MD PhD, Head, Minimally Invasive Surgery Program, Division of Surgery, Department of General Oncologic Surgery, City of Hope National Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF Gastroenterologist, Ochsner Clinic Foundation; Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute; Editor-in-Chief, The Internet Journal of Gasteroenterology; Editorial Board, Signal Transduction Insights; Editorial Board, The Internet Journal of Epidemiology; Editorial Board, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Review Letter

Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeanette G Smith, MD Fellow, Department of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Jeanette G Smith, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Public Health Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

George Y Wu, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Medicine, Director, Hepatology Section, Herman Lopata Chair in Hepatitis Research, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

George Y Wu, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterological Association, American Medical Association, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and Association of American Physicians

Disclosure: Springer Consulting fee Consulting; Gilead Consulting fee Review panel membership; Vertex Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Bristol-Myers Squibb Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Springer Royalty Review panel membership; Merck Honoraria Speaking and teaching

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Production of bilirubin.
Enterohepatic circulation of bilirubin.
Conjugation of bilirubin.
 
 
 
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