Cholangitis laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Farwa Haideri [2]


Certain laboratory tests may be helpful in the diagnosis of cholangitis. Some commonly conducted tests include complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, liver function tests, blood culture, and other body fluid cultures.

Laboratory Findings

Laboratory findings typically associated with cholangitis include:[1][2]

Complete blood count (CBC):

Liver function tests (LFTs):

Cholestatic patterns of liver function tests may be remarkable for:[1][3][4][5]

Blood cultures:

  • Cultures are obtained from bile aspirated through percutaneous biliary catheters, obtained during biliary drainage, or from indwelling biliary prostheses.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Liu, Chi-Leung. & Fan, Sheung-Tat. (2001), Surgical Treatment: Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented., Munich, Germany: Zuckschwerdt Verlag
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cameron, John L. & Cameron, Andrew M. (2014), Current Surgical Therapy: Expert Consult, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, Inc.
  3. Andraus W, Haddad L, Nacif LS, Silva FD, Blasbalg R, D'Albuquerque LA (2011). "The best approach for diagnosing primary sclerosing cholangitis". Clinics (Sao Paulo). 66 (11): 1987–9. PMC 3203975. PMID 22086533.
  4. Björnsson ES, Kilander AF, Olsson RG (2000). "Bile duct bacterial isolates in primary sclerosing cholangitis and certain other forms of cholestasis--a study of bile cultures from ERCP". Hepatogastroenterology. 47 (36): 1504–8. PMID 11148988.
  5. Wada K, Takada T, Kawarada Y, Nimura Y, Miura F, Yoshida M, Mayumi T, Strasberg S, Pitt HA, Gadacz TR, Büchler MW, Belghiti J, de Santibanes E, Gouma DJ, Neuhaus H, Dervenis C, Fan ST, Chen MF, Ker CG, Bornman PC, Hilvano SC, Kim SW, Liau KH, Kim MH (2007). "Diagnostic criteria and severity assessment of acute cholangitis: Tokyo Guidelines". J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 14 (1): 52–8. doi:10.1007/s00534-006-1156-7. PMC 2784515. PMID 17252297.

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