Hepatic cholestasis - Definition

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Cholestasis is a decrease or disappearance of the bile flow causing a surge in the volume of bile in the biliary tract. It is often due to an obstruction in the path of normal evacuation of the bile, or liver disease. The symptoms appear as jaundice and unexplained itching (pruritus). Cholestasis may be the result of a tumor, infection, or stones. The bioassays show an increase in certain blood components, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, and often transaminases. An abdominal ultrasound is performed first to search for the cause of the cholestasis.