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Houma, LA
A 17-year-old male asked:

Can someone have liver failure if they have jaundice, even with completely normal cmp?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tony Ho
Dr. Tony Hoanswered
Internal Medicine 15 years experience
Not possible: The cmp has bilirubin, which is elevated in jaundice (and causes jaundice). If the cmp is completely normal, it is not jaundice; it may be some other skin discoloration, perhaps from excess beta carotene intake.
Dr. Joseph Sucher
Trauma Surgery 27 years experience
Yes: Bilirubin is kept low by the liver. I assume cmp refers to a "complete metabolic profile", which is different depending on the lab company performing the test. This may only include electrolytes and not other enzymes more specific to the liver. Chronic liver failure may show many normal values, but bilirubin still will be elevated. There are other causes of jaundice that are not liver failure.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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