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The goal of testing is to determine the cause of the jaundice and to evaluate the severity of the underlying condition. Initial testing is usually focused on the liver. Specific additional tests, such as viral hepatitis testing or testing to evaluate increased RBC destruction, may be requested along with or following the initial tests based on the patient’s clinical findings and the doctor’s suspicions of the cause of the jaundice.

Laboratory Tests
Tests may include:

Less commonly requested tests include

  • G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase), haemoglobin variants, SMA (smooth muscle antibodies), ANA (anti-nuclear antibodies), Hepatitis D and E.


Non-Laboratory Tests

Imaging tests and liver biopsies may be used to help evaluate the status and structure of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Tests may include:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • CT (computed tomography) scan
  • Cholangiography (an imaging of the bile ducts)
  • MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography)
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
  • Liver biopsy.

Last Review Date: December 4, 2020