Fulminant hepatic failure due to herpes simplex after hysteroscopy

T M Price, J B Harris
Obstetrics and Gynecology 2001, 98 (5 Pt 2): 954-6

BACKGROUND: Fulminant hepatic failure due to herpes simplex in healthy adults is a rare condition with a high mortality rate. The lack of specific symptoms and the absence of typical herpetic lesions in a majority of cases contribute to delayed diagnosis.

CASE: We describe a fatal case of fulminant hepatic failure due to herpes simplex in a healthy woman presenting after laparoscopy and hysteroscopy for tubal infertility. The patient lacked evidence of mucocutaneous lesions or jaundice. The surgery likely contributed to viral dissemination.

CONCLUSION: Although rare, disseminated herpes should be considered a possible cause of postsurgical pelvic infections, even in the absence of ulcerative lesions. Until a definitive diagnosis is made, antiviral therapy should be considered in patients with high fever, leukopenia, and abnormal liver function.

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