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Jaundice, Abnormal Liver Function and Blood Tests

Jaundice is characterised by a yellowy tinge to the colour of the skin and is associated with high levels of bilirubin in the body. There are different causes of jaundice and these are usually divided into those associated with the liver and those not associated with the liver.

Tests may be ordered to evaluate the function of the liver and these are known as liver function tests. If an individual has abnormal liver function test results and jaundice, there are different possible causes, including:

  • infections
  • excessive consumption of alcohol
  • medications
  • tumours
  • gallstones

Although many cases of jaundice are associated with abnormal liver function, it is also possible to get abnormal liver function test results without jaundice. If this is the case, tests including blood tests and X-rays and in some extreme cases a tissue sample from the liver, may be ordered.