Acute Liver Failure/Injury Related to Drug Reaction With Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms: Outcomes and Prognostic Factors

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Abstract

Background

Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) is a rare severe adverse drug-induced reaction with multiorgan involvement. The outcome and prediction of those patients who develop severe acute liver injury (sALI) or acute liver failure (ALF) remain little known.

Methods

A multicenter retrospective study of patients admitted with a diagnosis of DRESS-related sALI or ALF. Histological review was performed on liver core biopsies from native livers.

Results

Sixteen patients (11 women, 5 men; mean age, 39±17.2 years) were classified as having definite (n=13) or probable (n=3) DRESS. At admission, 3 patients had hepatic encephalopathy; median levels of prothrombin time, INR, and total bilirubin were, respectively, 33% (Q1-Q3, 21-41), 2.74 (1.98-4.50), and 94 μmol/L (Q1-Q3, 39.5-243.5). Nine patients received corticosteroid therapy. Overall, 9 patients improved spontaneously and 7 worsened (liver transplantation [LT] (n=5), deceased (n=2)). Transplantation-free and post-LT survival was 56% and 60%, respectively. After LT, DRESS recurrence was observed in 3 of 5 patients. Systemic corticosteroid therapy was not significantly associated with a clinical improvement. In the multivariate analysis, factor V level less than 40% at day 0 and factor V levels of 40% or greater at admission but decreasing at day 2 were associated with worse outcome. Pathological findings (n=7) revealed atypical lymphoid infiltrates, Kupffer cell hyperplasia with erythrophagocytosis, and an inconstant presence of eosinophils.

Conclusions

The spontaneous prognosis of patients with sALI/ALF due to DRESS is poor and was not improved by corticosteroid therapy. Histology is helpful to establish diagnosis. Dynamic variables regarding factor V values are predictive of a poor outcome.

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