Bile duct inflammation. This may be caused by bacterial infection due to a blocking in the duct, for example by a gallstone. The infection spreads up the duct and may affect the liver. The main symptoms are jaundice, abdominal pain, chills and fever. Mild attacks are easily treated with antibiotics and fluids. Severe attacks may be accompanied by septicaemia (blood poisoning) which is life threatening, and kidney failure. A rarer type of cholangitis may occur (sclerosing type), which is where all the bile ducts become blocked. This causes chronic jaundice, itchy skin and progressive liver damage.