Cases from the Osler Medical Service at Johns Hopkins University.

Published

Journal Article

A 37-year-old woman presented with increasing abdominal pain and jaundice. Six weeks before admission, she developed persistent diarrhea and jaundice of the skin. She also bruised easily, and her gums bled. In the subsequent weeks, her appetite decreased, she was fatigued, and she had nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distension. She had a history of drinking 1 quart of vodka every day for 20 years, with brief periods of abstinence; she stopped consuming alcohol 11 days before admission because it no longer provided symptomatic relief. Her past medical history was also notable for depression, including a suicide attempt 4 years earlier. She did not smoke, use illicit drugs, or have unprotected sexual intercourse. She had received no blood transfusions and had not traveled recently. She took no medications, except for occasional ibuprofen. On physical examination, she was thin and deeply jaundiced, and she trembled and responded slowly to questions. She was afebrile but tachypneic, and she had orthostatic hypotension. Her HEENT examination was notable for scleral and sublingual icterus, as well as crusted blood on her gums and teeth. The jugular veins were flat. The cardiac examination revealed tachycardia (heart rate, 103 beats per minute) without murmurs, rubs, or gallops. The abdomen was nontender and protuberant, with hypoactive bowel sounds; the spleen was not palpable, and there was no fluid wave or caput medusae. The liver percussed to 18 cm, with a smooth edge extending 10 cm below the costal margin. She had cutaneous telangiectases on her chest and bilateral palmar erythema. There was no peripheral edema. The neurologic examination was notable for asterixis. Her stool was guaiac positive. Laboratory studies revealed the following values: hematocrit, 21.2%; white blood cells, 17,310/mm(3); ammonia, 42 micromol/L; serum creatinine, 3.9 mg/dL; serum urea nitrogen, 70 mg/dL; albumin, 2.1 g/dL; total bilirubin, 26.8 mg/dL; alanine aminotransferase, 14 U/L; aspartate aminotransferase, 77 U/L; alkaline phosphatase, 138 U/L; prothrombin time, 103 seconds (international normalized ratio, 10.6); and urinary sodium, <5 mg/dL. Urinalysis revealed an elevated specific gravity and numerous muddy granular casts. Hepatitis A, B, and C serologies were negative. On abdominal ultrasound examination, there was no ascites, and the liver was echogenic. The portal and hepatic veins were patent, and the hepatic arteries were normal. The spleen measured 14 cm. What is the diagnosis?

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grow, RW; Zaas, A

Published Date

  • February 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 114 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 153 - 155

PubMed ID

  • 12586238

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12586238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9343

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0002-9343(03)00009-3

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States