Human cholestatic hepatitis owing to polyoxyethylene nonylphenol ingestion: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

The purpose of this study was to identify the chemical responsible for cholestatic hepatitis in a 55-year-old woman who ingested 1,1′-iminodi (octamethylene) diguanidinium triacetate (iminoctadine triacetate), a fungicide. The fungicide formulation was also composed of polyoxyethylene nonylphenol (NP-40) and methanol.

Patient concerns:

Severe cholestatic hepatitis developed, which led to the patient's death on day 88 of hospitalization. Post-mortem necropsy of the liver showed focal hepatocyte necrosis involving mostly the mid-zone, along with intracytoplasmic and intracanalicular cholestasis.

Diagnoses:

To identify the chemical responsible for hepatic injury, the cellular toxicity of all chemicals in the fungicide formulation was assessed in HepG2 cells using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiaxol-2yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide test.

Outcomes:

Viability of cells treated with the surfactant NP-40 was significantly lower (P < .001), but that of cells treated with other components of the fungicide, including the active ingredient, iminoctadine triacetate, was unaffected. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis confirmed that necrosis was induced in HepG2 cells treated with 25–80 μM of NP-40, while significant numbers of apoptotic cells were not detected.

Lessons:

NP-40 appears to be the chemical responsible for the patient's irreversible hepatic injury, accompanied by intracytoplasmic and intracanalicular cholestasis.

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