A case of jaundice of obscure origin. Academic Article Case Study uri icon


  • 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.

publication date

  • 2014