Peliosis Hepatis

The peliosis hepatis, firstly described in 1950 by Zak F.G.,  is a rare condition,sometimes fatal,  characterized by areas of hepatocellular necrosis secondarily   cystic,blood   filled   cavities   of   1-3   mm   of   diameter   in   the parenchyma.

Initially,only   focal   hepatocellular   necrosis   may   be   present, sometimes hemorrhagic but in the severe and fatal cases, portal hypertension with varices and ascites, liver failure and/ or hemoperitoneum with shock secondary to intraperitoneal rupture were reported (1).

Some cases are reported in women taking oral contraceptives.In this circumstance, regression of the initial lesions is possible with termination of the etiologic agent (2,3).

This rare disease,generally develops in organs belonging to the mononuclear phagocytic system (liver,spleen, bone marrow,lymph nodes);  however,a paucity of studies indicates that other organs such as lungs, parathyroid glands, and kidneys may be affected, too. (4) 

Rosa Sabatini and Giuseppe Loverro
Dept. Obstetrics and Gynecology,
General Hospital Policlinico-University of Bari, Italy


[1]  Jacquemin, E., Pariente, D., Fabre, M., Huault, G.,Valayer, J., Bernard, O. (1999). Peliosis hepatis with initial presentation as acute hepatic failure and intraperitoneal hemorrhage in children. J.Hepatol, 30(6), 1146-50. 
[2]  Hung, N.R.,Chantrain, L., Dechambre, S. (2004). eliosis hepatis revealed by biliary colic in a patient with oral contraceptive use. Acta Chir.Belg, 104(6), 727-9. 
[3]  Eugene, M., Chong, M.F., Genin, R., Amat, D. (1985). Peliosis hepatis and oral contraceptives :a case report. Mediterr. Med, 13(343), 21-24. 
[4]  Zafrani,  E.S.,  Pinaudeau,  Y.,  Le Cudonnec,  B.,  Julien,  M.,  Dhumeaux,  D. (1980). Focal hemorrhagic necrosis of the liver.A clinicopathological entity possibly related to oral contraceptives. Gastroenterology, 79, 1295-9.

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