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Necrotizing hepatitis with a fatal outcome after carbimazole therapy


, : Necrotizing hepatitis with a fatal outcome after carbimazole therapy. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 118(42): 1515-1519

A 74-year-old woman developed weakness, lack of appetite and abdominal swelling 7 months after starting treatment with carbimazole (10 mg/d for 10 weeks) and, subsequently, radioiodine for hyperthyroidism. Physical examination revealed generalized oedema and ascites. Computed tomography showed a liver of normal size but infiltrated by nodules up to 4 cm in diameter. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was raised and there were abnormal concentrations of haemoglobin, total proteins, liver enzymes and creatinine, as well as decreased platelet and white cell counts. Thyroid function was normal. Viral and autoimmune diseases were largely excluded. Liver biopsy showed a severe, highly active hepatitis with parenchymal necroses, large-drop fatty infiltration and intralobular granuloma-like inflammatory reactions, as well as lympho-histiocytic inflammation of the portal areas. The most likely cause was the carbimazole treatment. In addition to symptomatic treatment she received prednisone (1 mg/kg), because an allergic diathesis could not be excluded. But she died of hepatic failure 6 weeks after admission.

US$19.90

PMID: 8223196

DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1059479


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