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06.09.2019 | short report Open Access

Acute liver failure in immunocompetent patients infected with hepatitis E

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
Christian Wenter, Wegene Borena, Georg Oberhuber, Prof. Dr. Ivo Graziadei
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In almost all immunocompetent patients an acute hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is clinically silent with spontaneous viral clearance. So far, only a very small number of severe acute HEV infections have been described. This article reports the case of a 78-year-old immunocompetent, diabetic patient, who presented with a symptomatic acute HEV genotype (GT) 3 infection and that progressed to acute liver failure. After starting with an antiviral therapy with ribavirin, the HEV viral load rapidly decreased with a significant improvement of the laboratory parameters as well as a clinical amelioration of the patient. The treatment was continued for 3 months and led to a complete resolution of this acute fulminant hepatitis E. Although the risk is almost negligible this article clearly demonstrates that an acute liver failure due to HEV should also be considered in immunocompetent patients, especially in older male individuals with diabetes mellitus.
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