Amreet K. Aujla, MD1, Guneetinder S. Gill, MBBS2, Nihar Shah, MBBS3, Perry Pratt, MD3, Martin Hoffman, DO4
1University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT; 2Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Hartford, CT; 3University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT; 4Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT
Introduction: Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the second most common cause of acute liver failure; 15-20% cases of DILI can be attributed to damage caused by herbal or dietary supplements. Methoxsalen, commonly known as psoralen, is the active ingredient in Bakuchi seeds and is used for treatment of vitiligo and psoriasis. DILI caused by Psoralen is rare, with only three cases reported in literature. This case demonstrates the importance of eliciting a history of herbal supplement use in patients with acute liver failure and the need for regulation of herbal supplements.
Case Description/Methods: A 60-year-old female presented with two-week history of jaundice and right upper quadrant pain (RUQ). She started taking Bakuchi seeds four weeks prior to presentation and would apply it topically and consume it daily. Patient denied history of alcohol use, blood transfusions, or illicit drug use. Physical exam was notable for scleral icterus and jaundice. Labs revealed abnormal liver function tests (LFTs) (fig. A) with a peak total bilirubin of 19mg/dL and a MELD-Na on admission of 19. Work up revealed positive anti-smooth muscle antibodies and AFP elevation to 15.9ng/mL. Pertinent negatives included viral hepatitis serologies, HSV, EBV, factor V activity, and hemochromatosis. A RUQ ultrasound showed no abnormalities. An MRI abdomen was done which revealed mild periportal edema and mildly dilated common bile duct without choledocholithiasis or obvious mass. Given concerns for DILI, patient was started on acetylcysteine. Hospital course was complicated by episodes of confusion; an ammonia level was elevated at 75umol/l. Patient was started on lactulose. Because patient’s LFTs improved with a stabe PT/INR of 12/1.2, she did not meet criteria for a liver transplant. A liver biopsy was performed which revealed submassive necrosis and collapse; hepatitis with plasma cells and eosinophils with significant cholestasis. Given biopsy results consistent with DILI, patient was discharged on oral prednisone and lactulose to follow up with hepatology in one week.
Discussion: LFT abnormalities were seen in 2% to 12% of subjects taking psoralen; the elevations were mild-moderate in severity, asymptomatic and self-limited in course with recovery of LFT seen in 6 to 8 weeks. However, severe jaundice and death from hepatic failure has been described in patients with preexisting cirrhosis. This case emphasizes the need for increased surveillance to formulate guidelines regarding regulation and use of herbal supplements.
Citation: Amreet K. Aujla, MD; Guneetinder S. Gill, MBBS; Nihar Shah, MBBS; Perry Pratt, MD; Martin Hoffman, DO. P2517 - HEPATOTOXICITY BY METHOXSALEN: THE INNOCUOUS CULPRIT. Program No. P2517. ACG 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. San Antonio, Texas: American College of Gastroenterology.