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Drug-induced Liver Injury

Drug-induced liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury (DILI) is the most common cause of acute liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis (ALF). Hepatotoxic drugs can cause injury to the hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy directly in a predictable dose-dependent way or through idiosyncratic reactions (which may be mediated by immune or non-immune processes). The injury mechanisms can have the following effects: hepatitis, cholestasis, vascular lesions, or overlapping changes. The presentation can be acute or chronic, with severe toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation manifesting as fulminant liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis. The diagnosis of DILI requires a thorough history and laboratory tests including liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests (LFTs) and drug levels, if available. Management consists of discontinuing the drug, supportive therapy, and monitoring for complications. Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen, one of the most common causes of DILI, has a specific treatment, N-acetylcysteine N-Acetylcysteine Acetaminophen Overdose ( NAC NAC Acetaminophen Overdose).

Last updated: 28 Jun, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Epidemiology

  • Drug-induced liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury (DILI) incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency: 10–15 per 10,000 to 100,000 persons exposed to prescription medications
  • 10% of all cases of acute hepatitis Acute Hepatitis Autoimmune Hepatitis 
  • Most common cause of acute liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis (ALF) in the United States
  • Most common reason for withdrawing a drug from the market

Etiology

  • Prescription medications:
    • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen: most common etiology of DILI in the United States
    • Amoxicillin-clavulanate: most common etiology worldwide
  • Herbal medications and dietary supplements are also associated with DILI.
  • Risk factors:
    • Women > men
    • Adults > children 
    • Alcohol abuse 
    • Malnutrition Malnutrition Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema). Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries
    • Pre-existing liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
    • Genetics Genetics Genetics is the study of genes and their functions and behaviors. Basic Terms of Genetics (alterations in enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes involved in drug metabolism)
    • Concomitant use of other drugs
    • Age (e.g., DILI from isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs increases with age)

Metabolism of drugs

The liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy handles metabolism of drugs/toxins, thus making the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy susceptible to injury. The drugs themselves undergo processes to be inactivated and become water soluble (for proper renal or biliary excretion).

Phase I reaction:

  • Mediated by cytochrome P450
  • Drug undergoes oxidation or hydroxylation.
  • Not all drugs go through phase I.
  • Drug-related hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen can occur due to phase I metabolites (e.g., the metabolite of acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen, N-acetyl-P-benzoquinone-imine N-Acetyl-P-Benzoquinone-Imine Acetaminophen Overdose (NAPQI), causes DILI).

Phase II reaction:

  • Involves glucuronidation or sulfation or inactivation by glutathione
  • Process further increases drug solubility, forming non-toxic substances that are easily excreted.

Phase III reaction:

  • Product Product A molecule created by the enzymatic reaction. Basics of Enzymes transport across the canalicular membranes
  • Transporters facilitate drug-product excretion into the bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy.

Pathophysiology

Mechanisms of drug toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation

Intrinsic/direct hepatotoxins:

  • Hepatocellular damage that is dose dependent 
  • Short latent periods between exposure and DILI
  • Effect of the drug/hepatotoxin is reproducible and predictable.
  • Produce toxic hepatitis (e.g., poisons) or are converted to a toxic metabolite in the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy (e.g., acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen)
  • Examples:
    • Carbon tetrachloride 
    • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen 
    • Tetracycline
    • Amanita phalloides Amanita Phalloides Toxicology of Plants mushroom

Idiosyncratic reactions: 

  • Not dose dependent (unpredictable)
  • Variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables latent periods (up to 3 months after starting medication)
  • DILI was not seen in preclinical trials in most cases.
  • Reactions are often not reproducible, and are usually species specific.
  • Mechanisms:
    • Immune mediated (hypersensitivity reactions)
    • Non-immune (related to host factors/ genetics Genetics Genetics is the study of genes and their functions and behaviors. Basic Terms of Genetics)
  • Examples:
    • Isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs
    • Phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Amoxicillin-clavulanate
    • Valproic acid Valproic acid A fatty acid with anticonvulsant and anti-manic properties that is used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The mechanisms of its therapeutic actions are not well understood. It may act by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain or by altering the properties of voltage-gated sodium channels. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy (ART) targets the replication cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is classified based on the viral enzyme or mechanism that is inhibited. The goal of therapy is to suppress viral replication to reach the outcome of undetected viral load. Anti-HIV Drugs

Pathophysiology of DILI

Potential mechanism overlaps of drugs may occur as mixed hepatocellular and cholestatic changes occur.

Potential mechanisms of how drugs cause liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death:

  • Drug disrupts calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes homeostasis Homeostasis The processes whereby the internal environment of an organism tends to remain balanced and stable. Cell Injury and Death: actin Actin Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or f-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or g-actin. In conjunction with myosins, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle. Skeletal Muscle Contraction fibrils disassemble → cell membrane Cell Membrane A cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane or plasmalemma) is a biological membrane that separates the cell contents from the outside environment. A cell membrane is composed of a phospholipid bilayer and proteins that function to protect cellular DNA and mediate the exchange of ions and molecules. The Cell: Cell Membrane blebbing → cell lysis 
  • Immune response activation: 
    • Cytochrome P450 enzyme binds with the drug, producing non-functioning adducts.
    • Adducts reach the cell surface → cytolytic T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions and cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response attack the adducts as targets 
  • Drug activation of apoptotic pathways: 
    • Stimulation of death receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors ( tumor Tumor Inflammation necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage factor ( TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)) receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors or Fas) 
    • Results in programmed cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death 
  • Mitochondrial disruption: 
    • Adenosine Adenosine A nucleoside that is composed of adenine and d-ribose. Adenosine or adenosine derivatives play many important biological roles in addition to being components of DNA and RNA. Adenosine itself is a neurotransmitter. Class 5 Antiarrhythmic Drugs triphosphate (ATP) levels; ↑ lactate, and reactive oxygen species Reactive oxygen species Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include singlet oxygen; superoxides; peroxides; hydroxyl radical; and hypochlorous acid. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to nucleic acids; proteins; and lipids. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; lipid peroxidation → cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death
    • Failed free fatty acid metabolism Fatty acid metabolism Fatty acid metabolism includes the processes of either breaking down fatty acids to generate energy (catabolic) or creating fatty acids for storage or use (anabolic). Besides being a source of energy, fatty acids can also be utilized for cellular membranes or signaling molecules. Synthesis and beta oxidation are almost the reverse of each other, and special reactions are required for variations. Fatty Acid Metabolism → triglyceride accumulation ( steatosis Steatosis Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)

Potential mechanisms of how drugs affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment the biliary excretion pathway:

  • Damaged actin Actin Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or f-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or g-actin. In conjunction with myosins, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle. Skeletal Muscle Contraction filaments next to the canaliculus:
    • Transport proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis at the canalicular membrane are affected, preventing bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure.
    • Loss of villous processes and impaired canalicular pumps → ↓ bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy excretion 
  • Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy duct damage: 
    • Toxic metabolites (excreted in bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy) damage bile-duct epithelium Epithelium The epithelium is a complex of specialized cellular organizations arranged into sheets and lining cavities and covering the surfaces of the body. The cells exhibit polarity, having an apical and a basal pole. Structures important for the epithelial integrity and function involve the basement membrane, the semipermeable sheet on which the cells rest, and interdigitations, as well as cellular junctions. Surface Epithelium: Histology → cholestasis
    • Protracted cholestasis leads to vanishing bile duct syndrome Vanishing Bile Duct Syndrome Jaundice.
Drug induced liver injury

Possible pathophysiology of drug-induced liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury:
1. A reactive metabolite may be formed by hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy, which can covalently bond to proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis to form neoantigens.
2. A release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of neoantigens and damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules from damaged hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy, which can lead to activation of antigen-presenting cells Antigen-presenting cells A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include macrophages; dendritic cells; langerhans cells; and B-lymphocytes. Follicular dendritic cells are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of immune complexes for b-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors. Adaptive Immune Response (APCs) and recruitment Recruitment Skeletal Muscle Contraction of innate immune cells.
3. APC APC A polyposis syndrome due to an autosomal dominant mutation of the apc genes on chromosome 5. The syndrome is characterized by the development of hundreds of adenomatous polyps in the colon and rectum of affected individuals by early adulthood. Familial Adenomatous Polyposis activation leads to the expression of signal 1 and signal 2
4. T helper (Th) cells and cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 T (Tc) cells are activated, leading to an adaptive immune response Adaptive immune response Immune responses against pathogens are divided into the innate and adaptive immune response systems. The adaptive immune response, also called the acquired immune system, consists of 2 main mechanisms: the humoral- and cellular-mediated immune responses. Adaptive Immune Response.
5. 5a: The dominant adaptive immune response Adaptive immune response Immune responses against pathogens are divided into the innate and adaptive immune response systems. The adaptive immune response, also called the acquired immune system, consists of 2 main mechanisms: the humoral- and cellular-mediated immune responses. Adaptive Immune Response in idiosyncratic drug-induced liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury (IDILI) is usually a cell-mediated immune response.
5b: However, if the binding of the drug or drug-modified peptide is not very strong, the adaptive immune response Adaptive immune response Immune responses against pathogens are divided into the innate and adaptive immune response systems. The adaptive immune response, also called the acquired immune system, consists of 2 main mechanisms: the humoral- and cellular-mediated immune responses. Adaptive Immune Response will end in immune tolerance Tolerance Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, preventing or limiting liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury.

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Presentation

Symptoms

  • Can be asymptomatic
  • When symptomatic, may present with right upper quadrant Right upper quadrant Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy (RUQ) pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics/ vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia.
  • May have pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) (in cholestasis)
  • In severe cases: mental status changes occur due to hepatic encephalopathy Hepatic Encephalopathy Hepatic encephalopathy is a reversible condition in which elevated ammonia levels cause impaired brain function in patients with advanced liver disease. Hepatic encephalopathy can be precipitated by conditions that affect the normal absorption, metabolism, or clearance of ammonia, including dehydration, renal failure, infections, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Hepatic Encephalopathy.

Signs

Acute liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis:

  • Rapid onset (< 3-month duration)
  • Hepatomegaly and RUQ tenderness
  • Disorientation Disorientation St. Louis Encephalitis Virus/confusion, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice
  • Abnormalities of liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests (LFTs):
    • Alanine Alanine A non-essential amino acid that occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids/aminotransferase ( ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests)
    • Aspartate Aspartate One of the non-essential amino acids commonly occurring in the l-form. It is found in animals and plants, especially in sugar cane and sugar beets. It may be a neurotransmitter. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids/aminotransferase ( AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests)
    • Alkaline phosphatase Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ( ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma)
    • Bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
  • Coagulation abnormality ( prothrombin Prothrombin A plasma protein that is the inactive precursor of thrombin. It is converted to thrombin by a prothrombin activator complex consisting of factor Xa, factor V, phospholipid, and calcium ions. Hemostasis/ international normalized ratio International normalized ratio System established by the world health organization and the international committee on thrombosis and hemostasis for monitoring and reporting blood coagulation tests. Under this system, results are standardized using the international sensitivity index for the particular test reagent/instrument combination used. Hemostasis or PT/INR > 1.5)
  • May have ↑ white blood cell count (WBC) 

Chronic liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury:

Chronic liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury is defined as lasting > 3 months, thereby resembling chronic liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease or cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis:

  • Spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites angiomas
  • Ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites
  • Palmar erythema Palmar Erythema Cirrhosis
  • LFT abnormalities

Diagnosis

Clinical findings

  • History:
    • Specific drug intake prior to the onset of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury
    • Any underlying liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease ruled out
    • Cessation of the offending drug leads to improvement of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury.
    • Repeated use causes liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy abnormalities (rechallenge is not recommended and should not be tried).
  • Physical examination findings are suggestive of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease.

Laboratory tests

Liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests:

  • Hepatocellular injury/hepatitis:
    • AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests elevation disproportionate to ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma elevation
    • May have elevated bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • May have abnormal PT/INR, albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests
  • Cholestatic injury:
    • ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma elevation disproportionate to ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests elevation
    • May have elevated bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • May have abnormal PT/INR, albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests
  • Mixed injury: combination of the above findings, but ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests: ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ratio < 5
  • Hy’s law: 
    • Presence of jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice (serum bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism > 2x normal) with ↑ serum ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests (> 3x normal)
    • Indicative of worse prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas ( mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status > 10%)

Drug levels:

  •  Obtained if history is suggestive and test is available
  •  May correlate with degree of hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen ( acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen)
Type of injury Blood test
Hepatitis
  • ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests ≥ 3 x ULN
  • ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ratio > 5
Cholestasis
  • ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ≥ 2 x ULN
Mixed
  • ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests ≥ 3 x ULN and ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ≥ 2 x ULN
  • ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma ratio > 2, but < 5
ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests: alanine Alanine A non-essential amino acid that occurs in high levels in its free state in plasma. It is produced from pyruvate by transamination. It is involved in sugar and acid metabolism, increases immunity, and provides energy for muscle tissue, brain, and the central nervous system. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids
ALP ALP An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma: alkaline phosphatase Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. Osteosarcoma
ULN: upper limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation of normal

Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma

  • Not required for diagnosis but performed if the diagnosis or severity is uncertain
  • Can help rule out other causes of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury
  • Histology shows morphologic changes/patterns that can correlate with suspected drug(s).

Histologic patterns of injury:

  • Acute hepatocellular injury/hepatitis (seen in 90% of DILI):
    • Hepatocellular necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage, apoptosis Apoptosis A regulated cell death mechanism characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, including the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA, at regularly spaced, internucleosomal sites, I.e., DNA fragmentation. It is genetically-programmed and serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth. Ischemic Cell Damage, degeneration 
    • Affected areas can be spotty, with isolated hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy.
    • If injury is extensive, massive necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage is noted (seen in ALF). 
  • Chronic hepatocellular injury: 
    • Resembles changes in chronic liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
    • Periportal and pericellular fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Acute cholestatic injury:
    • Pure cholestasis: bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy plugging/accumulation with minimal hepatocellular injury
    • Cholestatic hepatitis: cholestasis, portal inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation with hepatocellular injury
  • Chronic cholestasis:
    • Chronic portal inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation
    • Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy duct degeneration or loss ( vanishing bile duct syndrome Vanishing Bile Duct Syndrome Jaundice)
  • Steatosis Steatosis Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and steatohepatitis:
  • Granulomas Granulomas A relatively small nodular inflammatory lesion containing grouped mononuclear phagocytes, caused by infectious and noninfectious agents. Sarcoidosis:
    • Non-necrotizing granulomas Granulomas A relatively small nodular inflammatory lesion containing grouped mononuclear phagocytes, caused by infectious and noninfectious agents. Sarcoidosis
    • Often in the periportal and portal areas
  • Vascular lesions:
    • Sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (occlusion of terminal hepatic venules Venules The minute vessels that collect blood from the capillary plexuses and join together to form veins. Veins: Histology and sinusoids Sinusoids Liver: Anatomy)
    • Budd-Chiari syndrome Budd-Chiari syndrome Budd-Chiari syndrome is a condition resulting from the interruption of the normal outflow of blood from the liver. The primary type arises from a venous process (affecting the hepatic veins or inferior vena cava) such as thrombosis, but can also be from a lesion compressing or invading the veins (secondary type). The patient typically presents with hepatomegaly, ascites, and abdominal discomfort. Budd-Chiari Syndrome (drug-induced thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus)
  • Others: phospholipidosis, peliosis hepatis Peliosis hepatis A vascular disease of the liver characterized by the occurrence of multiple blood-filled cysts or cavities. The cysts are lined with endothelial cells; the cavities lined with hepatic parenchymal cells (hepatocytes). Peliosis hepatis has been associated with use of anabolic steroids (anabolic agents) and certain drugs. Bartonella
Table: Histologic patterns of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy injury
Pattern of injury Examples
Acute hepatitis Acute Hepatitis Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Ibuprofen Ibuprofen A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic properties used in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), methyldopa, phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
  • Massive necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage: acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen, halothane Halothane A nonflammable, halogenated, hydrocarbon anesthetic that provides relatively rapid induction with little or no excitement. Analgesia may not be adequate. Nitrous oxide is often given concomitantly. Because halothane may not produce sufficient muscle relaxation, supplemental neuromuscular blocking agents may be required. Inhaled Anesthetics
Chronic hepatitis/ fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs, methotrexate Methotrexate An antineoplastic antimetabolite with immunosuppressant properties. It is an inhibitor of tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate, necessary for synthesis of thymidylate, an essential component of DNA. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy, atorvastatin Atorvastatin A pyrrole and heptanoic acid derivative, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin), and anticholesteremic agent that is used to reduce serum levels of ldl-cholesterol; apolipoprotein b; and triglycerides. It is used to increase serum levels of hdl-cholesterol in the treatment of hyperlipidemias, and for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in patients with multiple risk factors. Statins
Cholestatic hepatitis (mixed)
  • Clindamycin Clindamycin An antibacterial agent that is a semisynthetic analog of lincomycin. Lincosamides, phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs, azathioprine Azathioprine An immunosuppressive agent used in combination with cyclophosphamide and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. According to the fourth annual report on carcinogens, this substance has been listed as a known carcinogen. Immunosuppressants, nitrofurantoin
Cholestasis
  • Oral contraceptives, anabolic steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors, antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy (ART) targets the replication cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is classified based on the viral enzyme or mechanism that is inhibited. The goal of therapy is to suppress viral replication to reach the outcome of undetected viral load. Anti-HIV Drugs, antibiotics, thiabendazole, tricyclic antidepressants
Steatosis Steatosis Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or steatohepatitis
  • Valproic acid Valproic acid A fatty acid with anticonvulsant and anti-manic properties that is used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The mechanisms of its therapeutic actions are not well understood. It may act by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain or by altering the properties of voltage-gated sodium channels. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs, amiodarone Amiodarone An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting potassium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance. Pulmonary Fibrosis, antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy (ART) targets the replication cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is classified based on the viral enzyme or mechanism that is inhibited. The goal of therapy is to suppress viral replication to reach the outcome of undetected viral load. Anti-HIV Drugs, tamoxifen Tamoxifen One of the selective estrogen receptor modulators with tissue-specific activities. Tamoxifen acts as an anti-estrogen (inhibiting agent) in the mammary tissue, but as an estrogen (stimulating agent) in cholesterol metabolism, bone density, and cell proliferation in the endometrium. Antiestrogens
Granulomas Granulomas A relatively small nodular inflammatory lesion containing grouped mononuclear phagocytes, caused by infectious and noninfectious agents. Sarcoidosis
  • Sulfonamides Sulfonamides A group of compounds that contain the structure so2nh2. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim, amiodarone Amiodarone An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting potassium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance. Pulmonary Fibrosis, allopurinol Allopurinol A xanthine oxidase inhibitor that decreases uric acid production. It also acts as an antimetabolite on some simpler organisms. Gout Drugs, isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs, phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
Vascular lesions
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome Budd-Chiari syndrome Budd-Chiari syndrome is a condition resulting from the interruption of the normal outflow of blood from the liver. The primary type arises from a venous process (affecting the hepatic veins or inferior vena cava) such as thrombosis, but can also be from a lesion compressing or invading the veins (secondary type). The patient typically presents with hepatomegaly, ascites, and abdominal discomfort. Budd-Chiari Syndrome: oral contraceptives, anabolic steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors
  • Sinusoidal obstruction syndrome: high-dose chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma ( oxaliplatin Oxaliplatin An organoplatinum complex in which the platinum atom is complexed with 1, 2-diaminocyclohexane, and with an oxalate ligand which is displaced to yield active oxaliplatin derivatives. These derivatives form inter- and intra-strand DNA crosslinks that inhibit DNA replication and transcription. Oxaliplatin is an antineoplastic agent that is often administered with fluorouracil and folinic acid in the treatment of metastatic colorectal neoplasms. Alkylating Agents and Platinum), oral contraceptives

Management

General recommendations

  • Main treatment: cessation of the offending drug
  • Serial laboratories until the LFTs return to normal
  • Monitor for complications: 
    • Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is an emergency condition defined as a serum glucose level ≤ 70 mg/dL (≤ 3.9 mmol/L) in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, there is no specific or defined limit for normal serum glucose levels, and hypoglycemia is defined mainly by its clinical features. Hypoglycemia
    • Monitor level of consciousness
    • Prevent gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is a symptom of multiple diseases within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastrointestinal bleeding is designated as upper or lower based on the etiology’s location to the ligament of Treitz. Depending on the location of the bleeding, the patient may present with hematemesis (vomiting blood), melena (black, tarry stool), or hematochezia (fresh blood in stools). Gastrointestinal Bleeding with a proton pump inhibitor Proton pump inhibitor Compounds that inhibit H(+)-K(+)-exchanging ATPase. They are used as anti-ulcer agents and sometimes in place of histamine h2 antagonists for gastroesophageal reflux. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 
    • Infection
    • Multi-organ failure

Specific therapy

Limited specific treatments for DILI:

  • N-acetylcysteine N-Acetylcysteine Acetaminophen Overdose ( NAC NAC Acetaminophen Overdose) for acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
  • L-carnitine for cases of valproic acid Valproic acid A fatty acid with anticonvulsant and anti-manic properties that is used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The mechanisms of its therapeutic actions are not well understood. It may act by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain or by altering the properties of voltage-gated sodium channels. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs overdose (associated with hyperammonemia Hyperammonemia Elevated level of ammonia in the blood. It is a sign of defective catabolism of amino acids or ammonia to urea. Cirrhosis, lethargy Lethargy A general state of sluggishness, listless, or uninterested, with being tired, and having difficulty concentrating and doing simple tasks. It may be related to depression or drug addiction. Hyponatremia, and hepatic dysfunction)
  • Symptomatic therapy: bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy acid sequestrant to relieve the pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
  • Liver transplantation Liver transplantation The transference of a part of or an entire liver from one human or animal to another. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases for fulminant liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis

Acetaminophen-induced Hepatotoxicity

Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen

  • Most common cause of ALF 
  • ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests > 1,000 U/L followed by jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice and encephalopathy Encephalopathy Hyper-IgM Syndrome
  • Toxic dose (single ingestion):
    • Potentially toxic: > 7.5 g in healthy adults, > 150 mg/kg in children
    • Likely toxic: > 250 mg/kg or 12 g over a 24-hour period 
    • In alcoholics/ anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant drugs are pharmacological agents used to achieve seizure control and/or prevent seizure episodes. Anticonvulsants encompass various drugs with different mechanisms of action including ion-channel (Na+ and Ca+2) blocking and GABA reuptake inhibition. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs users: lower toxic dose
  • Normal metabolism:
    • Metabolized by the hepatic cytochrome P450 system 
    • Metabolite: NAPQI is toxic but appropriate acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen doses produce small amounts.
    • NAPQI is normally detoxified by glutathione → non-toxic cysteine Cysteine A thiol-containing non-essential amino acid that is oxidized to form cystine. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids and mercaptate compounds → renal excretion 

Pathogenesis and clinical presentation

Pathogenesis:

  • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen dose → excessive metabolites (NAPQI) deplete glutathione levels and saturate the elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy pathways.
  • ↑ Amounts of NAPQI bind BIND Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn with hepatic macromolecules → produce NAPQI-protein adducts (irreversible process) → ↑ risk of oxidative stress Oxidative stress A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products. Cell Injury and Death → hepatocellular necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage 

Clinical presentation:

  • Stage I (1st 24 hours): 
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus; may be asymptomatic
    • Laboratory studies are usually normal.
  • Stage II (24–72 hours): 
    • Ongoing hepatic necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage results in ↑ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests by 36 hours
    • RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and hepatomegaly occur.
  • Stage III (72–96 hours): 
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function abnormalities peak.
    • Severe toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests > 10,000 IU/L, prolonged PT/INR, lactic acidosis Acidosis A pathologic condition of acid accumulation or depletion of base in the body. The two main types are respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, due to metabolic acid build up. Respiratory Acidosis, bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism > 4 mg/dL
    • Possibly complicated with ALF, renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome, pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis
    • Death may occur in multi-organ failure.
  • Stage IV (> 5 days):
    • Resolution or progression to multi-organ failure
    • Symptoms and laboratory values take weeks to return to normal.

Diagnosis and management

Diagnosis:

  • Drug levels of acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen correlate with the severity of hepatic injury.
  • Complete metabolic panel, coagulation tests
  • Other tests for complications: complete blood count (CBC), electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) ( ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG))

Initial management:

  • Secure airway Airway ABCDE Assessment, breathing, and circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment
  • Gastrointestinal decontamination: activated charcoal Charcoal An amorphous form of carbon prepared from the incomplete combustion of animal or vegetable matter, e.g., wood. The activated form of charcoal is used in the treatment of poisoning. Antidotes of Common Poisonings to all adults presenting within 4 hours of ingestion (most beneficial if ingestion is < 2 hours prior)
Management of drug induced hepatitis

Management of acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation:
1. Obtain history, identify agents involved, and determine severity and possible drug toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation.
If acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen ingestion (potentially toxic dose > 7.5 g) has been < 4 hours, activated charcoal Charcoal An amorphous form of carbon prepared from the incomplete combustion of animal or vegetable matter, e.g., wood. The activated form of charcoal is used in the treatment of poisoning. Antidotes of Common Poisonings is given to prevent absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption of residual drug.
Patient should be alert to protect the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment and avoid aspiration.
2. Serum acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen level is obtained (recommended at 4 hours after ingestion; 2nd drug level is obtained later if extended release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology preparation was ingested).
3. N-acetyl-cysteine is administered in the following cases:
Levels above the treatment line in the nomogram
Unclear time of ingestion and serum acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen level is > 10 µg/mL
Evidence of hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
Suspected single dose of > 7.5 g or 150 mg/kg and result of acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen level will not be available for at least 8 hours.

Image by Lecturio.

Management:

  • Rumack-Matthew nomogram Rumack-Matthew nomogram Guides the use of the antidote n-acetylcysteine (NAC) based on sapap and hours since ingestion in relation to probability of hepatotoxicity. Acetaminophen Overdose
    • Utilized for single acute acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen ingestion
    • Illustrates hepatotoxic levels of acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen 4 hours after ingestion ( absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption has likely occurred)
    • Guides use of the antidote Antidote An antidote is a substance that counteracts poisoning or toxicity. Substances that can cause poisoning include heavy metals (from occupation, treatments, or diet), alcohols, environmental toxins, and medications. Antidotes of Common Poisonings ( NAC NAC Acetaminophen Overdose) based on acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen level and hours since ingestion
    • Cannot be used for ingestion that occurred > 24 hours prior to presentation, repeated elevated doses, or intravenous overdose. 
  • NAC NAC Acetaminophen Overdose:
    • Antidote Antidote An antidote is a substance that counteracts poisoning or toxicity. Substances that can cause poisoning include heavy metals (from occupation, treatments, or diet), alcohols, environmental toxins, and medications. Antidotes of Common Poisonings
    • Replenishes glutathione and subsequently decreases NAPQI production
    • Most effective within 8 hours of ingestion, but would be partially effective up to 36 hours after acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen intake
  • Indications for NAC NAC Acetaminophen Overdose
    • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen levels above the treatment line in the nomogram
    • Unclear time of ingestion and serum drug level of > 10 µg/mL
    • Evidence of hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
    • Suspected single dose of > 7.5 g or 150 mg/kg and result of drug level will not be available for at least 8 hours.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease: liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease with findings of steatohepatitis, presenting with the similar laboratory results (elevation in ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests) and clinical presentation. Characteristic history (no suspicious drug intake), physical examination (elevated body mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast index ( BMI BMI An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of body weight to body height. Bmi=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). Bmi correlates with body fat (adipose tissue). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, bmi falls into these categories: below 18. 5 (underweight); 18. 5-24. 9 (normal); 25. 0-29. 9 (overweight); 30. 0 and above (obese). Obesity)), and chronic nature of the disease help differentiate non-alcoholic fatty liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease from drug-induced hepatitis.
  • Viral hepatitis: infection from a virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology causing an acute inflammatory reaction in the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy. Presents with jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and hepatomegaly but ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests are usually > 1,000 in cases of viral hepatitis. Further differentiation can be established by detecting viral antigens and antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions in the serum. Treatment is based on etiology. For certain hepatitis types, prevention is achieved by vaccination Vaccination Vaccination is the administration of a substance to induce the immune system to develop protection against a disease. Unlike passive immunization, which involves the administration of pre-performed antibodies, active immunization constitutes the administration of a vaccine to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies. Vaccination
  • Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare form of chronic liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver causing inflammation. It predominantly affects women. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic cases to patients that present with symptoms of acute liver failure (jaundice, right upper quadrant pain). Autoimmune Hepatitis: an ALF that presents with fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, hepatomegaly, and RUQ tenderness. Drug-induced hepatitis must be ruled out using the history and a laboratory evaluation. The presence of the anti-smooth muscle antibody Anti-Smooth Muscle Antibody Autoimmune Hepatitis is a strong indicator Indicator Methods for assessing flow through a system by injection of a known quantity of an indicator, such as a dye, radionuclide, or chilled liquid, into the system and monitoring its concentration over time at a specific point in the system. Body Fluid Compartments of autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare form of chronic liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver causing inflammation. It predominantly affects women. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic cases to patients that present with symptoms of acute liver failure (jaundice, right upper quadrant pain). Autoimmune Hepatitis. Treatment is with immunosuppressants Immunosuppressants Immunosuppressants are a class of drugs widely used in the management of autoimmune conditions and organ transplant rejection. The general effect is dampening of the immune response. Immunosuppressants such as steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors
  • Alcoholic liver disease Alcoholic Liver Disease Alcoholic liver disease is a spectrum of disorders ranging from fatty liver to cirrhosis secondary to chronic alcohol abuse. Excessive and prolonged consumption of alcohol results in impairment of the lipolysis pathway, causing inflammatory changes within the hepatocytes. Patients typically present during the hepatitis stage with jaundice, fever, and abdominal pain. Alcoholic Liver Disease: liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis associated with chronic alcohol abuse. Alcoholic liver disease Alcoholic Liver Disease Alcoholic liver disease is a spectrum of disorders ranging from fatty liver to cirrhosis secondary to chronic alcohol abuse. Excessive and prolonged consumption of alcohol results in impairment of the lipolysis pathway, causing inflammatory changes within the hepatocytes. Patients typically present during the hepatitis stage with jaundice, fever, and abdominal pain. Alcoholic Liver Disease presents with the same laboratory results (elevation in ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests) and clinical presentation. Steatohepatitis is noted. Characteristic history (alcohol abuse) and chronic nature of the disease typically distinguish alcoholic Alcoholic Persons who have a history of physical or psychological dependence on ethanol. Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear) fatty liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease from drug-induced hepatitis. Treatment is alcohol cessation. 

References

  1. Burns, M., Friedman, S., & Larson, A. (2020). Acetaminophen (paracetamol) poisoning in adults: Pathophysiology, presentation and evaluation. UpToDate. Retrieved on Nov 28, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acetaminophen-paracetamol-poisoning-in-adults-pathophysiology-presentation-and-evaluation
  2. Farrell, S. & Defendi, G. (2020). How is the Rumack-Matthew nomogram used in the work-up of acetaminophen toxicity/poisoning and what information does it provide? Medscape. https://www.medscape.com/answers/820200-27243/how-is-the-rumack-matthew-nomogram-used-in-the-workup-of-acetaminophen-toxicitypoisoning-and-what-information-does-it-provide
  3. Heard, K., & Dart, R. (2020). Acetaminophen (paracetamol) poisoning in adults: Treatment. UpToDate. Retrieved Nov 28, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acetaminophen-paracetamol-poisoning-in-adults-treatment
  4. Larson, A. (2020). Drugs and the liver: Metabolism and mechanisms of injury. UpToDate. Retrieved Nov 28, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/drugs-and-the-liver-metabolism-and-mechanisms-of-injury
  5. Larson, A. (2019). Drug-induced liver injury. UpToDate. Retrieved Nov 28, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/drug-induced-liver-injury?search=drug%20induced%20hepatotoxicity&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H29
  6. Lee, W. M., & Dienstag, J.L. (2018). Toxic and drug-induced hepatitis. In Jameson, J.L., et al. (Ed.), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (20th ed). McGraw-Hill.
  7. Kumar, V., Abbas, A., Aster, J., & Robbins, S. (2020). The liver and bile ducts. In Robbins and Cotran (Eds.), Pathologic Basis of Disease (10th ed., p. 841). Elsevier, Inc.
  8. Mehta, N., & Ozick, L. (2019). Drug-induced hepatotoxicity. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/169814-overview

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