Hong Kong Med J 2007;13:319-22 | Number 4, August 2007
Spontaneous intra-hepatic haemorrhage in a patient with fever of unknown origin
Vincent KS Leung, Clement YW Lam, CC Chan, WL Ng, Tony KL Loke, Ivy SC Luk, TN Chau, Arthur HW Wu, WN Fong, SH Lam
Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Polyarteritis nodosa is a systemic necrotising vasculitis that affects the small- and medium-sized arteries. Multifocal aneurysmal formation in the renal, hepatic, and mesenteric vasculature is a hallmark of this condition, and spontaneous aneurysmal rupture may occur, resulting in life-threatening haemorrhage. We describe a 42-year-old man who initially presented with fever of unknown origin. A diagnosis could not be reached at that time despite extensive investigations. The fever subsided spontaneously after 8 weeks, and the patient remained well for 6 years until he was admitted again for evaluation of fever. During his hospital stay, he developed a spontaneous massive intra-hepatic haemorrhage resulting in hepatic rupture and a haemoperitoneum. The bleeding was controlled at emergency laparotomy. An abdominal angiography demonstrated multiple microaneurysms in the hepatic and mesenteric arterial vasculature. The clinical findings suggested polyarteritis nodosa, and the source of bleeding was probably a ruptured intra-hepatic artery aneurysm.
Key words: Aneurysm, ruptured; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Hepatic artery; Polyarteritis nodosa
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