Ascites management by cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy during recovery from drug-induced acute liver injury: a case report

Link to article at PubMed

J Med Case Rep. 2020 Oct 14;14(1):192. doi: 10.1186/s13256-020-02507-5.


BACKGROUND: The symptoms of drug-induced hepatic injury are manifold; however, the presence of ascites indicates a severe disease condition. The rapid accumulation of ascites is distressing and requires palliative treatment. Because many cases are addressed by repeated large-volume paracentesis, often resulting in impairment due to protein and electrolyte loss, a different approach is required.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 61-year-old Japanese man on maintenance dialysis was admitted to our hospital with acute liver injury. Our patient was diagnosed as having drug-induced liver injury due to warfarin or diltiazem, which started immediately after coronary artery bypass grafting 7 months previously. One month after admission, our patient's hepatic encephalopathy remained grade 1 and his prothrombin time international normalized ratio was maintained at < 1.5. However, the liver was markedly atrophied with massive ascites. Although liver transplantation was desired, he was considered unfit for transplantation because of his renal and cardiac complications. Therefore, we devised a strategy to manage the massive ascites with cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy while awaiting liver regeneration. At first, cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy was required frequently because ascites accumulated rapidly. But the fluid retention interval was gradually extended as intended, and cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy was withdrawn after 8 months. During that time, the size of his liver increased from 1419 cm3 to 1587 cm3 on computed tomography.

CONCLUSIONS: Cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy is an apheresis therapy in which ascites are collected aseptically by paracentesis, concentrated, and then reinfused intravenously. This treatment has the advantage of preserving nutrition by reusing the fluid. Previously, cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy was used only for the management of ascites in patients with cirrhosis or carcinomatous peritonitis. This case suggests that palliation and maintenance of nutritional status with cell-free concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy may be useful as an adjunct to liver regeneration in drug-induced hepatic injury.

PMID:33050943 | PMC:PMC7557035 | DOI:10.1186/s13256-020-02507-5

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