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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Gastro-Hepatic Fistula with Liver Abscess: A Rare Complication of a Common Procedure

Unusual clinical course, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents

Arsalan Rafiq, Naeem Abbas, Hassan Tariq, Suresh Kumar Nayudu

USA Department of Medicine, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2015; 16:652-657

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.895098

Available online: 2015-09-24

Published: 2015-09-24


BACKGROUND: Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a procedure used most commonly for enteral access for nutrition and continuation of treatment in patients when oral nutrition is not possible. It is a safe, cost-effective procedure; however, has its own complications and adverse effects that can be life threatening.
CASE REPORT: Here, we present the case of a 76-year-old woman who was sent to a long-term skilled nursing facility after discharge from a hospital a month before, initially admitted for seizures after a fall and diabetic ketoacidosis. She underwent tracheostomy for prolonged respiratory support on mechanical ventilation and also underwent PEG tube placement. She presented in our Emergency Department (ED) with septic shock and multi-organ failure initially attributed to urinary tract infection and possible Clostridium difficile colitis. However, on further evaluation she was found to have a dislodged PEG tube, which led to development of gastro-hepatic fistula and multiple liver abscesses with liver necrosis. Comfort measures were implemented and she died due to her critical condition.
CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of a PEG tube, with no post-procedure complications, that dislodged and resulted in formation of a gastro-hepatic fistula and multiple liver abscesses. It is the first case that describes liver injury resulting from dislodgement rather than the liver being injured during the procedure of PEG tube placement itself.

Keywords: Fistula - etiology, Gastric Fistula - etiology, Gastrostomy - adverse effects, Liver - ultrasonography, Liver Abscess - etiology, Postoperative Complications, Tomography, X-Ray Computed