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Of numerous possible causes of acute jaundice, it is imperative that two—acute viral hepatitis and decompensated cirrhosis—be recognized by nonsurgical means, Allan G. Redeker, MD, of the University of Southern California School of Medicine warned.
Redeker told a jaundice symposium at the AMA Annual Convention in June that surgical intervention was potentially fatal in patients with either Laennec's cirrhosis or epidemic infectious viral hepatitis and homologous serum hepatitis.
Acute viral hepatitis is the most common cause of jaundice in young patients and one of the least common in the elderly, Redeker said. Both mortality and morbidity of viral hepatitis are correlated with age. Acute viral hepatitis is usually a mild, transient disorder in young children.
A protracted period of jaundice is the rule in elderly patients with acute viral hepatitis. Moreover, it is common for such patients to undergo a considerable drop in their serum albumin level. "Therefore, a low
Surgery Dangerous with Two Causes of Jaundice. JAMA. 1964;189(4):30–31. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070040096047
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