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Fulminant hepatic and multiple organ failure following acute viral tonsillitis: a case report


Bechtel-Grosch, Ursina; Beguelin, Charles; Berezowska, Sabina; Dufour, Jean-Francois; Takala, Jukka; Schefold, Joerg C (2016). Fulminant hepatic and multiple organ failure following acute viral tonsillitis: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 10:7.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pyogenic tonsillitis may often be observed in the general Western population. In severe cases, it may require antibiotic treatment or even hospitalization and often a prompt clinical response will be noted. Here we present an unusual case of progressive multiple organ failure including fulminant liver failure following acute tonsillitis initially mistaken for "classic" pyogenic (that is bacterial) tonsillitis.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 68-year-old previously healthy white man was referred with suspicion of pyogenic angina. After tonsillectomy, he developed acute liver failure and consecutive multiple organ failure including acute hemodynamic, pulmonary and dialysis-dependent renal failure. Immunohistopathological analysis of his tonsils and liver as well as serum polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed herpes simplex virus-2 to be the causative pathogen. Treatment included high-dose acyclovir and multiorgan supportive intensive care therapy. His final outcome was favorable.
CONCLUSIONS: Fulminant herpes simplex virus-2-induced multiple organ failure is rarely observed in the Western hemisphere and should be considered a potential diagnosis in patients with tonsillitis and multiple organ failure including acute liver failure. From a clinical perspective, it seems important to note that fulminant herpes simplex virus-2 infection may masquerade as "routine" bacterial severe sepsis/septic shock. This persevering condition should be diagnosed early and treated goal-oriented in order to gain control of this life-threatening condition.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pyogenic tonsillitis may often be observed in the general Western population. In severe cases, it may require antibiotic treatment or even hospitalization and often a prompt clinical response will be noted. Here we present an unusual case of progressive multiple organ failure including fulminant liver failure following acute tonsillitis initially mistaken for "classic" pyogenic (that is bacterial) tonsillitis.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 68-year-old previously healthy white man was referred with suspicion of pyogenic angina. After tonsillectomy, he developed acute liver failure and consecutive multiple organ failure including acute hemodynamic, pulmonary and dialysis-dependent renal failure. Immunohistopathological analysis of his tonsils and liver as well as serum polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed herpes simplex virus-2 to be the causative pathogen. Treatment included high-dose acyclovir and multiorgan supportive intensive care therapy. His final outcome was favorable.
CONCLUSIONS: Fulminant herpes simplex virus-2-induced multiple organ failure is rarely observed in the Western hemisphere and should be considered a potential diagnosis in patients with tonsillitis and multiple organ failure including acute liver failure. From a clinical perspective, it seems important to note that fulminant herpes simplex virus-2 infection may masquerade as "routine" bacterial severe sepsis/septic shock. This persevering condition should be diagnosed early and treated goal-oriented in order to gain control of this life-threatening condition.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Intensive Care Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:20 January 2016
Deposited On:22 Feb 2017 14:49
Last Modified:24 Jun 2018 07:05
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1752-1947
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-015-0777-3
PubMed ID:26785992

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