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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 29

of 'Classification and causes of jaundice or asymptomatic hyperbilirubinemia'

Cholestatic jaundice as a paraneoplastic manifestation of renal cell carcinoma.
Dourakis SP, Sinani C, Deutsch M, Dimitriadou E, Hadziyannis SJ
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1997;9(3):311.
Malignant diseases may cause cholestatic jaundice through either main bile duct obstruction or widespread hepatic metastasis. Renal cell carcinoma (hypernephroma, RCC) can cause a variety of paraneoplastic manifestations which can be the main presenting symptoms. Cholestasis, as a paraneoplastic syndrome, has been well described in patients with malignant lymphohyperplastic diseases. Non-metastatic nephrogenic hepatic dysfunction syndrome without jaundice has often been described in patients with hypernephroma (Stauffer's syndrome). Paraneoplastic cholestatic jaundice has not yet been described. We report, for the first time, two patients who presented with pruritus and cholestatic jaundice. During the diagnostic work-up, RCC was diagnosed. The renal tumour was an unexpected finding during computed tomographic (CT) scan. No clinical manifestations of hypernephroma, short of microscopic haematuria, were detected. Conjugated bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase were markedly increased. No hepatic metastasis or main bile duct obstruction were detected by appropriate investigations. After radical nephrectomy, liver abnormalities disappeared rapidly. We conclude that RCC should be included among neoplasms causing not only anicteric intrahepatic cholestasis but also frank jaundice as part of a paraneoplastic syndrome. The differential diagnosis from hepatic metastasis, main bile duct obstruction or other causes of jaundice is of clinical importance and of prognostic value. Patients with unexplained cholestasis should be investigated for malignant diseases including hypernephroma.
Academic Department of Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.