Definition.—Jaundice is a symptom rather than a specific disease, and is found in various affections of the liver. It is characterized by a deposit of bilirubin in the various structures and fluids of the body, which gives them a yellow or jaundiced hue.
Until recently, two varieties of jaundice have been recognized; (a) Hepatogenous or obstructive jaundice; and (b) hematogenous jaundice, due to a toxic state of the blood resulting from various poisons acting either directly upon the blood or upon the liver cells.
The investigations of Stadelmann, Hunter, Naunyn, Minkowski, and others, have seemingly disproved the doctrine of hematogenous jaundice, and most pathologists agree that all forms of jaundice can only come from obstruction, hepatogenous.
Etiology.—1. The obstruction in catarrhal jaundice is due to inflammatory tumefaction of the duodenum or bile-ducts.
2. Foreign bodies, such as gall-stones or parasites, within the ducts.
3. Tumors within the duct, or by pressure from without; such as tumors, gravid uterus, or fecal matter.
4. Stricture, or obliteration of the duct.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.