Medline ® Abstract for Reference 1
of 'Classification and causes of jaundice or asymptomatic hyperbilirubinemia'
Clinical presentation of (subclinical) jaundice--the Euricterus project in The Netherlands. United Dutch Hospitals and Euricterus Project Management Group.
Reisman Y, Gips CH, Lavelle SM, Wilson JH
BACKGROUND: From a primary clinical database, we wanted to obtain insight in disease distribution and clinical presentation of adult jaundiced patients in a Western country.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: As part of the Euricterus project, 24 Dutch general and academic hospitals in a period of 2 years gathered prospectively 702 patients on a standard proforma. Patient aged 16 years or more (median 61) and with a serum bilirubin of 20 mmol/l or more (median 83) were included. The final diagnosis was established within 3 months.
RESULTS: Pancreatic or biliary carcinoma (20%), gallstone disease (13%) and alcoholic liver cirrhosis (10%) were the 3 most frequent diagnoses. Imaging (79%), clinical course (63%) and chemistry/serology (57%) were the most used ascertaining methods. Pancreatic or biliary carcinoma and gallstone disease were more common and age higher in general hospitals (p = 0.0001), and 'immunological' liver disease, non-alcoholic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) more common in academic hospitals (p = 0.001). Patients aged 90 years or older (13%) had pancreatic or biliary carcinoma, liver metastases or heart failure and patients with age less than 20 (0.9%) had acute viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic active liver disease or HCC. Risk factors were more apparent (p<0.02) in those aged less than 61 years. Feeling unwell (78%), dark urine (67%) and anorexia (57%) were the 3 most frequent symptoms; the 3 most frequent signs were liver enlarged (39%), looking ill (29%) and appearing wasted (23%).
CONCLUSIONS: Through Euricterus, fresh clinical knowledge has emerged of symptomatology, age stratification and hospital preponderance of (sub)clinical jaundice in this country. This is important both for teaching and in preparing clinical studies.
International School of Hepatology GISH, Faculty of Medicine, State University Groningen, The Netherlands.