jaundice


jaundice
/jawn"dis, jahn"-/, n., v., jaundiced, jaundicing.
n.
1. Also called icterus. Pathol. yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, etc., due to an increase of bile pigments in the blood, often symptomatic of certain diseases, as hepatitis. Cf. physiologic jaundice.
2. grasserie.
3. a state of feeling in which views are prejudiced or judgment is distorted, as by envy or resentment.
v.t.
4. to distort or prejudice, as by envy or resentment: His social position jaundiced his view of things.
[1275-1325; ME jaundis < OF jaunisse, equiv. to jaune yellow ( < L galbinus greenish-yellow) + -isse -ICE]

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Excess bile pigments (bilirubin) in the bloodstream and tissues, causing a yellow to orange
even greenish
colour in the skin, the whites of the eyes, and the mucous membranes.

Bilirubin may be overproduced or inadequately removed by the liver or leak into the bloodstream after removal; jaundice may also be due to impaired bile flow. Causes include anemia, pneumonia, and liver disorders (e.g., infection or cirrhosis). While bilirubin excess usually does no harm, retention jaundice signals severe liver malfunction.

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      excess accumulation of bile pigments in the bloodstream and bodily tissues that causes a yellow to orange and sometimes even greenish discoloration of the skin, the whites of the eyes, and the mucous membranes. Jaundice is best seen in natural daylight and may not be apparent under artificial lighting. The degree of coloration depends on the concentration of bile pigment ( bilirubin) in the blood, its rate of tissue diffusion, and the absorption and binding of bilirubin by the tissue. Bilirubin enters the tissue fluids and is absorbed more readily at sites of inflammation and edema (abnormal accumulation of fluids in the tissues).

      The most common mechanisms causing jaundice are an overproduction of bile by the liver, so that more is produced than can be readily excreted; congenital defects, which may impair the removal of bile pigments or cause overproduction; inability of liver cells to remove bile pigments from the blood because of liver disease; leakage of bilirubin removed by the liver back into the bloodstream (regurgitation); or obstruction of the bile ducts. A healthy newborn may develop jaundice because the liver has not fully matured. This type of jaundice usually subsides within a few weeks when the liver begins to function properly.

      Jaundice is classified as unconjugated, hepatocellular, or cholestatic. The first type, unconjugated, or hemolytic, jaundice, appears when the amount of bilirubin produced from hemoglobin by the destruction of red blood cells or muscle tissue exceeds the normal capacity of the liver to transport it or when the ability of the liver to conjugate normal amounts of bilirubin into bilirubin diglucoronide is significantly reduced by inadequate intracellular transport or enzyme systems. The second type, hepatocellular jaundice, arises when liver cells are damaged so severely that their ability to transport bilirubin diglucoronide into the biliary system is reduced, allowing some of the yellow pigment to regurgitate into the bloodstream. The third type, cholestatic, or obstructive, jaundice, occurs when essentially normal liver cells are unable to transport bilirubin either through the hepatic-bile capillary membrane, because of damage in that area, or through the biliary tract, because of anatomical obstructions such as gallstones or cancer.

      Some of the various diseases that can cause jaundice are hemolytic anemia, congestion in the circulatory system, pneumonia, congenital liver abnormalities, degeneration of the liver cells by poisons or infectious organisms, scarring of the liver tissue ( cirrhosis), and obstructions or tumours in the liver, bile ducts, and the head of the pancreas.

      In most cases, jaundice is an important symptom of some inherent bodily disturbance, but aside from the neonatal period the retention of bilirubin itself does not usually cause any greater damage than skin discoloration that lasts until the systemic problem is corrected. Cholestatic jaundice, especially if prolonged, can produce secondary disorders that may result in the failure of bile salts to reach the intestinal tract. Bleeding (bleeding and blood clotting) can occur in the intestines because of the absence of bile salts, for without them the fat-soluble vitamin K cannot be absorbed properly by the body. Without this vitamin, blood clotting is impaired, so that there is a greater tendency for bleeding to occur.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jaundice — Jaun dice, v. t. To affect with jaundice; to color by prejudice or envy; to prejudice. [1913 Webster] The envy of wealth jaundiced his soul. Ld. Lytton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jaundice — Jaun dice (?; 277), n. [OE. jaunis, F. jaunisse, fr. jaune yellow, orig. jalne, fr. L. galbinus yellowish, fr. galbus yellow.] (Med.) A morbid condition, characterized by yellowness of the eyes, skin, and urine, whiteness of the f[ae]ces,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jaundice — [jôn′dis] n. [ME jaundis < OFr jaunisse < jaune, yellow < L galbinus, greenish yellow < galbus, yellow, prob. via Celt * galbos < IE base * ghel ,YELLOW] 1. a) a condition in which the eyeballs, the skin, and the urine become… …   English World dictionary

  • jaundice — index bias, intolerance, predetermination, prejudice (influence) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • jaundice — (n.) c.1300, jaunis, from O.Fr. jaunice, earlier jalnice, yellowness (12c.), from jaune yellow, from L. galbinus greenish yellow, probably from PIE *ghel yellow, green (see CHLOE (Cf. Chloe)). With intrusive d (Cf. gender, astound, thunder …   Etymology dictionary

  • jaundice — ► NOUN 1) Medicine yellowing of the skin due to a bile disorder. 2) bitterness or resentment. DERIVATIVES jaundiced adjective. ORIGIN Old French jaunice yellowness …   English terms dictionary

  • Jaundice — Yellowing redirects here. For the plant disease, see lethal yellowing. For paper degradation, see foxing. Icterus and icteric redirect here. For the physiological event, see Ictal. For the songbird Icteria, see Yellow breasted Chat. Jaundice… …   Wikipedia

  • Jaundice — Yellowish staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally blood high levels of the bile pigment bilirubin. The yellowing extends to other tissues and body fluids. Jaundice was once called the morbus regius (the regal… …   Medical dictionary

  • jaundice — n. a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, indicating excess bilirubin (a bile pigment) in the blood. Jaundice is classified into three types. Obstructive jaundice occurs when bile made in the liver fails to reach the intestine due to… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • jaundice — [14] Jaundice is literally ‘yellowness’. The word came from Old French jaunice, which was a derivative of the adjective jaune ‘yellow’ (the d in the middle appeared towards the end of the 14th century). The derived adjective jaundiced [17]… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins


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