THE CAUSE of jaundice in patients with cholecystitis is not always obvious. If a common duct stone is not found, unproved causes of jaundice may be suggested to justify failure to adequately explore or to perform biopsy. Since jaundice may occur in nearly one third of patients with cholecystitis, and since a common duct stone is found in less than half of these1-4 other causes and the methods of their detection need emphasis.
The causes of jaundice in 200 patients requiring cholecystectomy have been reviewed. All the patients had an elevated bilirubin level at the time of hospitalization or surgery or both. The details of the histories, physical findings, laboratory data, operative summaries, and pathology reports were reviewed independently by three surgeons before concluding the cause of the jaundice. The review suggests that a specific cause for jaundice associated with cholecystitis can usually be found if adequate exploration and