The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 873–880 | Cite as

Green jaundice

A study of serum biliverdin, mesobiliverdin and other green pigments
  • Albert J. Greenberg
  • Irene Bossenmaier
  • Samuel Schwartz


Green jaundice is generally ascribed to biliverdinemia, but no proof of the identity of responsible pigments is known. A serum biliverdin concentration of 3 mg%, found in 1 of our patients, is thought to be the highest such value recorded. The accepted analytic method employed, however, was found to be nonspecific; a mixture of biliverdin, mesobiliverdin and related pigments appeared to contribute to the green color observed. The use of Triton X-100 and KCN facilitated spectrophotometric distinction of these pigments from green hemoprotein in the 3 illustrative patients described.


Public Health Color Green Color Biliverdin Related Pigment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Larson EA, Evans GT, Watson CJ: A study of the serum biliverdin concentration in various types of jaundice. J Lab Clin Med 32:481–488, 1947Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Malloy HT, Evelyn KA: Determination of bilirubin with the photoelectric colorimeter. J Biol Chem 119:481–490, 1937Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Petryka ZJ, Watson CJ: Separation of bile pigments by thin layer chromatography. J Chromat 37:76–82, 1968Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Curzon G, Vallet L: The purification of human caeruloplasmin. Biochem J 74:279–287, 1960Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baillie M: The works of Mathew Baillie, MD. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, 1825, pp 89–93Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moleschott J: Untersuchungen über die Bildungsstätte der Galle. Arch Physiol Heilkunde 11:479–495, 1852Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fenech FF, Bannister WH, Grech JL: Hepatitis with biliverdinaemia in association with indomethacin therapy. Brit Med J 3:155–156, 1967Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tenhunen R, Marver HS, Schmid R: The enzymatic conversion of heme to bilirubin by microsomal heme oxygenase. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 61:748–755, 1968Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Singleton JW, Laster L: Biliverdin reductase of guinea pig liver. J Biol Chem 240:4780–4789, 1965Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rich AR: The formation of bile pigment from haemoglobin in tissue cultures. Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 35:415–416, 1924Google Scholar
  11. 10a.
    Idem: The formation of bile pigment. Phys Rev 5:182–224, 1925Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Fox HM: Haemoglobin and biliverdin in parasitic cirripede crustacea. Nature 171:162–163, 1953Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    Minkowski O, Naunyn B: Beitrage zur Pathologie der Leber und des Icterus. 2. Über den Icterus durch Polycholie und die Vorgänge in der Leber bei demselben. Arch Exp Path Pharmakol 21:1–33, 1866Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    Wise CD, Drabkin DL: Enzymic degradation of hemoglobin and hemin to biliverdin and carbon monoxide. Fed Proc 24:222, 1965Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    Speidel CC: Studies of hyperthyroidism. III. Bile pigment production and erythrocyte destruction in thyroid-treated amphibian larvae. J Exp Med 43:703–712, 1926Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    Kanasaki K: Effect of injection of glucose upon green bile. Jap J Gastroent 5:91–100, 1933Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    Barry WM, Levine VE: The oxidation and reduction of bile pigments. J Biol Chem 59:lii, 1924Google Scholar
  18. 17.
    Lemberg RD, Wyndham RA: Reduction of biliverdin and bilirubin in tissues. Biochem J 30:1147–1170, 1936Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    Blondheim SH, Lathrop D, Zabriskie J: Effect of light on the absorption spectrum of jaundiced serum. J Lab Clin Med 60:31–39, 1962Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    Lucey J, Ferreiro M, Hewitt J: Prevention of hyperbilirubinemia of prematurity by phototherapy. Pediatrics 41:1047–1054, 1968Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    Ostrow JD: Photo-oxidative derivatives of (14C) bilirubin and their excretion by the Gunn rat, Bilirubin Metabolism. Edited by IAD Bouchier, BH Billing. Oxford, Blackwell Scientific Pub, 1967, pp 117–127Google Scholar
  22. 21.
    Zaroda RA: A simplified procedure for the determination of total bile pigments in jaundiced serum. Amer J Clin Path 45:70–74, 1966Google Scholar
  23. 22.
    Noir BA, Garay ER, Royer M: Separation and properties of conjugated biliverdin. Biochim Biophys Acta 100:403–410, 1965Google Scholar
  24. 23.
    Pearson LB, Watson CJ: A study of the reported occurrence of mesobilirubin in human bile. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 112:756–758, 1963Google Scholar
  25. 24.
    Lozzio B, Garay ER, Royer M: Metabolism of mesobiliviolinoids (MBV) in the Rat. I. Their transformation into bilirubin. Gastroenterologia 101:150–162, 1964Google Scholar
  26. 25.
    Garay EAR, Argerich TC: Fluorometric determination of biliverdin in serum, bile, and urine. J Lab Clin Med 62:141–147, 1963Google Scholar
  27. 26.
    Lemberg R: The chemical mechanism of bile pigment formation. Rev Pure Appl Chem 6:1–23, 1956Google Scholar
  28. 27.
    Lemberg R, Lockwood WH, Legge JW: Coupled oxidation of ascorbic acid and haemoglobin. 5. Studies on the formation of bile pigments from choleglobin and verdohaemochromogen and on their isolation from erythrocytes. Biochem J 35:363–379, 1941Google Scholar
  29. 28.
    Schwartz S, Katz EJ, Porter LM, et al: Studies of the hemolytic effect of radiation, chapt 19, Biological Effects of External X and Gamma Radiation. Edited by RE Zirkle. Washington, DC, Office of Technical Service, Dept of Commerce, 1956, part 2, pp 353–381Google Scholar
  30. 29.
    Stone HH, Martin JD Jr, Graber CD: Verdoglobinuria: an ominous sign of pseudomonas septicemia in burns. Ann Surg 159:991–995, 1964Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hoeber Medical Division • Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert J. Greenberg
    • 1
  • Irene Bossenmaier
    • 1
  • Samuel Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of MedicineUniversity of Minnesota, and Northwestern HospitalMinneapolis

Personalised recommendations