Azathioprine induced liver cirrhosis: An unusual side effect


In recent years, the hepatotoxic potential of thiopurines, in particular 6-thioguanine (6-TG), has been discussed in literature. However, cirrhosis was exceptionally reported. We report the case of a 56-year-old woman with ileocaecal Crohn’s disease treated with azathioprine. After taking azathioprine (2 mg/kg daily) for four years, she underwent surgical treatment for acute intestinal obstruction. In peroperative, we noticed a cirrhotic liver. A surgical biopsy was performed and the diagnosis of cirrhosis was confirmed. Autoimmune and viral liver diseases were ruled out by laboratory parameters. Therefore, Azathioprine is believed to be the causative factor for inducing liver cirrhosis. Thus, treating inflammatory bowel disease effectively while trying to limit iatrogenic disease is a continuous struggle.

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Ben Slama Trabelsi, A. , Hamami, E. , Ksiaa, M. , Souguir, A. , Ben Mabrouk, M. , Brahem, A. , Jmaa, A. and Ajmi, S. (2013) Azathioprine induced liver cirrhosis: An unusual side effect. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 3, 295-297. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2013.36050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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