Liver cells produce bile, which, in a healthy body, flows from the liver into the first section of the small intestine, the duodenum. Cholestasis occurs when something blocks or slows this transport. Multiple conditions can cause cholestasis, resulting in similar symptoms but varying treatments and outlooks.
Cholestasis originating in the liver is called intrahepatic cholestasis. Multiple conditions cause it, including alcoholic liver disease, bacterial abscesses, extended use of IV or parenteral nutrition, lymphoma, cirrhosis, pregnancy, hepatitis, tuberculosis, certain medications, or serious infections in the bloodstream. Primary or metastatic liver cancer can also cause this type of cholestasis.
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