Cholestasis and biliary dilatation associated with chronic ketamine abuse: a case series

Singapore Med J. 2011 Mar;52(3):e52-5.


Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic agent that is still widely used in veterinary and human medicine. It is increasingly being used as a recreational hallucinogenic drug. Chronic ketamine abuse is known to account for lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary bladder dysfunction. There is now emerging evidence that ketamine misuse is also associated with abnormal liver function tests and biliary tract abnormality. We report three cases of chronic ketamine misuse in three young men who all presented with obstructive jaundice and biliary tract abnormality. We also describe the clinical features, radiological findings and potential underlying mechanisms for this new entity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Dissociative / pharmacology*
  • Biliary Tract / abnormalities*
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / methods
  • Cholestasis / drug therapy*
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Dyskinesias / etiology
  • Humans
  • Jaundice, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Ketamine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Radiography, Abdominal / methods
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Urinary Tract / drug effects
  • Urologic Diseases / chemically induced
  • Urologic Diseases / pathology


  • Anesthetics, Dissociative
  • Ketamine