Digestive diseases and sciences

A case of jaundice of obscure origin.

PMID 24691629


Idiopathic painless jaundice with significant elevations in serum transaminases, occurring in a previously healthy patient, invokes a circumscribed set of possibilities including viral hepatitis, auto-immune hepatitis (AIH) and drug-induced liver injury (DILI). In this described case, common causes of cholestatic jaundice were considered including drug-induced liver injury, viral causes of hepatitis, and auto-immune antibodies. Biliary obstruction was excluded by appropriate imaging studies. Liver biopsy was obtained, though not definitive. After detailed investigation failed to reveal a cause of the jaundice, an empiric trial of steroids was initiated on the possibility that our patient had antibody-negative AIH and not DILI, with an associated grave prognosis. Empiric treatment with prednisone led to rapid resolution of jaundice and to the conclusion that the correct diagnosis was antibody-negative AIH.