Morla, D., Alazemi, S. & Lichtstein, D. J Gen Intern Med (2006) 21: C11. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00448.x
Cholestasis is a common feature of several malignant diseases, including pancreatic, hepatic, gallbladder, and ampullary carcinomas. It is usually secondary to main bile duct obstruction or widespread hepatic metastasis, but it can also be a paraneoplastic syndrome of other underlying malignancies. Stauffer’s syndrome is a rare paraneoplastic manifestation of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) that is characterized by elevated alkaline phosphatase, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, α-2-globulin, and γ-glutamyl transferase, thrombocytosis, prolongation of prothrombin time, and hepatosplenomegaly, in the absence of hepatic metastasis and jaundice. A rare variant of this syndrome with jaundice has recently been described in 3 cases in the literature. We report a patient who presented with abdominal pain and cholestatic jaundice in whom RCC was incidentally found during initial workup. Jaundice and liver dysfunction resolved completely after surgical resection of the tumor. This case illustrates the protean manifestations of RCC, and the importance of considering Stauffer’s syndrome and its variant in the differential diagnosis of anicteric and icteric cholestasis, which may allow early recognition and treatment of an underlying malignancy.