Acute hepatic necrosis in a case of acute cholecystitis1

General Surgery
Case Report
10.1102/1470-5206.2008.0006
8
14-18
Acute hepatic necrosis in a case of acute cholecystitis1

A 73-year-old Asian gentleman was admitted via the Accident and Emergency Department with upper abdominal pain, jaundice, fever and rigors. Past history included non-insulin dependant diabetes, asthma, psoriasis and alcoholism. His drug history included methotrexate. A diagnosis of acute cholecystitis was made and ultrasound findings were consistent with this. The patient started to improve but on day 8 of his admission he suddenly deteriorated and arrested. The post mortem revealed complete hepatic necrosis as an unexpected cause of death. There are a number of factors which may be contributory in this case. The fact that our patient expired so rapidly with complete hepatic necrosis was not in keeping with the typical chronic course one might expect. We should always bear in mind the potential for fatal hepatic injury in patients presenting with hepatobiliary symptoms with a past history of alcohol abuse and methotrexate therapy.

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Editor-in-Chief

Frank Cross
Consultant Vascular and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, UK

Editors

Neil Barnes
Consultant Physician
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
Ali Jawad
Professor of Rheumatology
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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