Benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by repeated episodes of intense pruritus and jaundice. Each attack lasts from several weeks to months before resolving spontaneously. Patients are completely asymptomatic for months to years between symptomatic periods. The disorder does not lead to progressive liver disease. Although attacks seem to be associated with a viral prodrome, an inciting viral agent or toxin has not been defined. Genetic studies have mapped the defect of this disorder to the long arm of chromosome 18 and a gene that codes for a P-type ATPase, which appears to be involved in aminophospholipid transport. Therapy during symptomatic periods is supportive and aimed at relief of severe pruritus until the episode resolves spontaneously.
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