Autopsy case of alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis treated with corticosteroids and affected by Pneumocystis carinii and cytomegalovirus pneumonia


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Abstract

A case of the very early phase of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative man with alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis treated with steroids is presented. A 40-year-old man with a 10-year history of alcohol abuse was admitted to hospital with jaundice, fever and macrohematuria. Laboratory examinations revealed neutrophilic leukocytosis and a serum bilirubin level of 13.9 mg/dL. The serum bilirubin level rose to 28.5 mg/dL over 1 month. Prednisolone administered orally for 10 days produced a slight improvement in the jaundice and fever. After an interval of a week, it was resumed and maintained for 22 days (total dose, 1555 mg) until the patient died of a massive hemorrhage from ruptured vessels of a gastric ulcer. An autopsy disclosed P. carinii pneumonia in the lower lobe of the left lung, cytomegalovirus infection in both lungs and the esophagus, and esophageal candidiasis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. carinii pneumonia together with cytomegalovirus infection in an HIV-negative alcoholic patient. The present case suggests that a rare opportunistic infection such as P. carinii pneumonia might be caused by treating cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis with corticosteroids, even if only for a relatively short period.

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