Reversible severe fatty liver induced by capecitabine: A case report

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Capecitabine (CAP) is a chemotherapeutic agent used to treat breast and gastrointestinal cancers. The most common adverse reactions of CAP primarily included gastrointestinal and dermatological effects. Whereas, the CAP-induced fatty liver had never been reported.

Patient concerns:

In this study, a-69-year old female presented a history of hypertension with regulated blood pressure, whereas diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and hepatitis were excluded. No alcohol,tobacco, or other drugs use was declared.


She was diagnosed as infiltrating ductal carcinoma of left breast with the hepatic and pulmonary metastasis. The dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency is not involved.


She received treatment with CAP that was administered orally at a dosage of 1500mg twice daily intermittently (2weeks on/1 week off). The treatment was well-tolerated any typical adverse reactions such as diarrhea, nausea, and hand-foot syndrome (HFS) were noted. The parameters of the functional liver, the total cholesterol, and triglyceride were in normal ranges before and after therapy. After 3 cycles of the treatment, computed tomography (CT) scan revealed signs of fatty liver. After a 10-cycle course, CAP was substituted with tamoxifen because of the further aggravation of fatty liver.


Several months after withdrawal, the follow-up CT scans demonstrated significant improvement of fatty liver.


We presented a case of breast cancer with severe fatty liver as a consequence of the administration of CAP that was not involved in DPD deficiency or CAP-associated hypertriglyceridemia; these potential adverse effects of therapy with CAP should be intensely investigated.

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