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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A Case of Fulminant Liver Failure in a 24-Year-Old Man with Coinfection with Hepatitis B Virus and SARS-CoV-2

Unusual clinical course

Elrazi Ali, Hisham Ziglam, Samah Kohla, Mohanad Ahmed, Mohamed Yassin

Qatar Department of Internal Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e925932

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.925932

Available online: 2020-09-03

Published: 2020-10-13


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly emerging disease that is still not fully characterized. It is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel virus that can be transmitted easily from human to human mainly by the respiratory route. Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine for prevention. The disease has various degrees of severity. It often presents with nonspecific symptoms such as fever, headache, and fatigue, accompanied by respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough and dyspnea) and other systemic involvement. Severe disease is associated with hemophagocytic syndrome and cytokine storm due to altered immune response. Patients with severe disease are more likely to have increased liver enzymes. The disease can affect the liver through various mechanisms.
CASE REPORT: We report an unusual case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a 24-year-old man with no previous medical illness, who presented with mild respiratory involvement. He had no serious lung injury during the disease course. However, he experienced acute fulminant hepatitis B infection and cytokine release syndrome that led to multiorgan failure and death.
CONCLUSIONS: It is uncommon for SARS-CoV-2 infection with mild respiratory symptoms to result in severe systemic disease and organ failure. We report an unusual case of acute hepatitis B infection with concomitant SARS-CoV-2 leading to fulminant hepatitis, multiorgan failure, and death.

Keywords: Hepatitis, Hepatitis B, Liver Failure, Acute