Case Report

Gestational Herpes Simplex Virus Hepatitis

Authors: HADI YAZIJI MD, TAMI HILL MD, THOMAS C. PITMAN MD, CURTIS R. COOK MD, G RANDOLPH SCHRODT MD

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis due to herpes simplex virus (HSV) is unusual in healthy individuals. To date, only 56 cases of HSV hepatitis in adult patients have been reported, including 21 pregnant patients. We describe a 25-year-old white woman in her 30th week of gestation who had progressive acute hepatitis. Histologic examination of the liver biopsy specimen showed diffuse microabscesses involving more than 50% of the hepatic parenchyma, with multiple hepatocytes containing Cowdry type A and ground-glass nuclear inclusions. The diagnosis of herpes hepatitis was confirmed by positive immunoreactivity to HSV antibodies in the tissue sections. Intravenous acyclovir therapy was immediately initiated, and the patient's condition improved dramatically. She then had a normal baby at term. Subsequently, the patient had a second pregnancy and an uncomplicated vaginal delivery without recurrence of the disease. Even though alterations of the humoral and cell-mediated immunity occur during pregnancy, herpes hepatitis is rare in pregnant women. Since the prompt administration of antiviral drugs is a lifesaving measure, we recommend including HSV hepatitis in the differential diagnosis of acute hepatitis in pregnancy.

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References