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Crit Care Med. 2005 Apr;33(4):891-3.

Case of fulminant hepatic failure due to unrecognized peripartum cardiomyopathy.

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1
Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe a postpartum patient who presented with fulminant hepatic failure and hepatic coma as a result of unrecognized peripartum cardiomyopathy.

DESIGN:

Case report.

SETTING:

Medical intensive care unit of a tertiary care academic medical center.

PATIENT:

A 35-yr-old woman 5 wks postpartum from an uneventful spontaneous vaginal delivery who was transferred to our institution with fulminant hepatic failure and worsening hepatic encephalopathy of unknown etiology for consideration of liver transplantation.

INTERVENTIONS:

An echocardiogram was obtained as part of an evaluation for refractory shock and the patient was found to have severe global hypokinesis with an ejection fraction of approximately 15%. She was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy and treatment with digoxin and afterload reduction was initiated.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

After initiation of appropriate treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy, the patient's hepatic failure resolved and she made a full recovery.

CONCLUSIONS:

Congestive heart failure is one of the few treatable causes of fulminant hepatic failure. Congestive heart failure must always be included in the differential diagnosis of fulminant hepatic failure of unknown pathogenesis.

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PMID:
15818120
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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