Author(s): Gitlin N, Serio KM
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Abstract Ischemic hepatitis is not an uncommon complication of reversible severe hypotension or cardiac failure. The prognosis usually is determined by the cause of the initial hypotension or cardiac failure, rather than the subsequent hepatic dysfunction. We report a retrospective analysis of nine patients with ischemic hepatitis in which previously unreported clinical and biochemical abnormalities are noted. The clinical and biochemical course of the patients were reviewed until recovery or death from ischemic hepatitis. All the patients had a rapid striking elevation of aspartate aminotransferase, and lactic dehydrogenase, with an equally rapid resolution of these parameters. Abnormal serum glucose levels occurred in six patients (none of whom had a prior carbohydrate intolerance). Insulin therapy was given to three patients for a limited period. Renal impairment was manifest in all nine patients, and it resolved spontaneously within 10 days. Altered mental status was detected in six patients; the changes reverted to normal within 7 days of their onset. A preexisting anemia (hemoglobin less than 11.0 g/dl) was noted on admission in four patients, and it did not appear to potentiate the manifestations of the hepatic ischemia. We conclude that ischemic hepatitis should be anticipated in all patients with a recent history of systemic hypotension. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with unexplained hepatitis; the early massive rise in lactic dehydrogenase, the rapid fall in transaminases, and the early mild/moderate renal failure strongly suggest ischemic hepatitis. Patients with ischemic hepatitis can manifest reversible renal failure, mental confusion, and hyperglycemia which may require insulin for its control.
This article was published in Am J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology