Exacerbation of sickle cell disease itself as a cause of abnormal liver chemistry tests

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Liver pathology occurring in patients with sickle cell disease is commonly related to viral hepatitis or hepatic iron deposition due to repeated transfusions; cholestasis and cirrhosis may also occur. Consequently, the differential diagnosis of abnormal liver tests in patients with sickle cell anemia is often complicated. We report the case of a patient presenting with jaundice and abnormal liver biochemistries, without typical evidence of the liver diseases associated with sickle cell anemia. Biochemical markers for viral hepatitis were negative. CT scan only showed hepatomegaly. The liver biopsy revealed marked sinusoidal congestion with red blood cells without significant steatosis or increased iron deposition. The patient's medical history corroborated with biochemical tests and histological examination of the liver suggested that worsening hemolysis related to increased sickling of erythrocytes intrahepatically led to sinusoidal dilatation and probably caused the abnormal liver tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-178
Number of pages3
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Clinical anemia
  • Hepatopathy
  • Sickle cell disease


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