How is jaundice diagnosed

Jaundice: Diagnosis & Treatment

Examinations & Diagnosis

Signs of jaundice should see the patient immediately to a doctor to find out the underlying disease. In addition to asking about complaints and previous illnesses, the doctor will initiate special blood tests.

The liver and biliary tract system can be examined using ultrasound (sonography). This examination method is free of radiation and pain for the patient.

If bile duct stones or a tumor are suspected, a bile duct display with an endoscope (ERC) is often performed after sonography or another imaging procedure. The doctor can remove bile duct stones or splint and relieve the congested duct system in the case of a tumor disease.

In addition, further examinations such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and (for tumors) punctures in the abdomen may be necessary.


Treatment for jaundice depends on the disease causing it. Gallstones can, for example, be removed with specially equipped endoscopes when the bile duct is shown.
If the gallbladder disease persists, it often has to be surgically removed. For this purpose, in addition to the classic operation, the gentle laparoscopy is increasingly being practiced. If drugs are the cause of jaundice, the liver often recovers on its own after discontinuation of the substance. Acute viral infections of the liver very often heal spontaneously. If they become chronic, antiviral drugs are used.

If liver disease is the cause of jaundice, patients should absolutely avoid alcohol and only take the most essential medication.