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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;39(1):64-7.

The burden of acute nonfulminant drug-induced hepatitis in a United States tertiary referral center [corrected].

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Feb;39(2):176.



There are limited data regarding the frequency and proportionality of drug-induced hepatotoxicity in the United States. We sought to determine the scope of nonfulminant drug-induced hepatitis as seen in a community-based hepatology referral service.


From a population of 4,039 outpatients referred for evaluation of acute (n = 96) and chronic (n = 3,943) liver disease over a 10-year period, we reviewed the records of those patients diagnosed with acute bona fide drug-induced hepatitis.


Thirty-two patients presented with self-limited acute drug-induced hepatitis, representing 0.8% of all hepatology patients and 33% of those patients presenting with acute liver injury. Antibiotics (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, minocycline, nitrofurantoin, an investigational ketolide antibiotic, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and trovafloxacin) were the class of drugs most frequently implicated (14 of 32; 44%), while amiodarone was the single agent most commonly associated with liver injury (7 of 32; 22%). The mean age of affected patients was 52.2 years, and we found a male predominance (18 of 32; 56%). The mean time to biochemical resolution after discontinuation of the offending agent was 14.1 weeks.


Drug-induced hepatitis is an uncommon entity in clinical hepatology but does represent a significant proportion of acute self-limited liver disease in the United States. Antibiotics and amiodarone were the most common drug culprits in our population. Time to resolution following the discontinuation of the offending agent may be protracted. Prospective studies are needed to further assess the burden of drug-induced liver injury.

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