Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 933–936 | Cite as

A Case of Jaundice of Obscure Origin

UNM Clinical Case Conferences



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.


Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) Auto-immune hepatitis (AIH) Antibody-negative auto-immune hepatitis Jaundice 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of MedicineUniversity of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MSC10-55501 University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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