Journal of medical case reports 2017 12 0811(1) 341 doi 10.1186/s13256-017-1510-1
Dengue is a common arboviral infection with a clinically diverse spectrum of presentations. Although hepatic dysfunction is commonly identified in patients will dengue illness, acute liver failure is rare. The etiopathogenesis of hepatic dysfunction is multifactorial and related to direct viral invasion of hepatocytes, immunological factors and hypoxia particularly in cases of shock in dengue hemorrhagic fever. Ideal management of dengue-related hepatic dysfunction and acute liver failure is still debated.
We report a 53-year-old Sri Lankan Sinhalese male with serologically confirmed dengue fever presenting with evidence of plasma leakage developing acute liver failure evidenced by deranged liver functions, coagulopathy and altered sensorium. In addition to the ‘standard care’, the patient was managed with intravenous N-acetyl cysteine and blood transfusions even in the absence of bleeding or dropping packed cell volume (PCV), targeting a higher PCV in anticipation of better oxygenation at tissue level. He made a full recovery with no sequential infections.
N-acetyl cysteine and packed cell transfusion aiming at a higher PCV to maintain adequate tissue perfusion during shock may be beneficial in acute liver failure due to dengue virus. Large randomized trials should be carried out to establish the efficacy of these treatment strategies to support these observations and change the current practice.