Disseminated listeriosis presenting as acute hepatitis

Case reports and review of hepatic involvement in listeriosis
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      We report three cases of disseminated listeriosls that presented as acute hepatitis characterized by striking increase of liver function test values and fever. Peak serum transaminases (SGOT) for each of three patients were 5,380, 2,350, and 443 mu/ml respectlvely. The correct diagnosis was not suspected in any of the patients until blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures obtained routinely in the course of evaluation for fever grew Listeria monocytogenes. When antibiotic therapy was instituted, serum transaminase values plummeted in two patients; these two were eventually cured of their infection. The third patient succumbed to his infection; postmortem examination showed miliary abscesses of the liver which revealed L. monocytogenes. Review of the literature for previous reports of hepatic involvement in adult patients with Ilsterioris shows that hepatitis is an unusual mode of presentation. However, since we observed these three cases over a one-year period, we suspect this may not be an uncommon occurrence.
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