Acute Aflatoxicosis Resulting in Fulminant Hepatic Failure and Rhabdomyolysis

Nir Samuel, Yosef Ezri, Raymond Farah, Vacksman Igor, Amer Hussein, Orit Rubinshtein, Nimer assy


Background: Aflatoxins are known contaminants of foods. High dose exposure, particularly toAflatoxin B1 (AFB1) may cause acute aflatoxicosis. Outbreaks have been reported in developing nations but are virtually un-documented in the developed world.

Case report: A 28 year old, healthy male presented with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The patient deteriorated rapidly to a state of agitation and shock. The clinical picture, encephalopathy and laboratory results indicated fulminant hepatic failure, rhabdomyolysis and multi-system organ failure. Canned food the patient consumed almost exclusively contained AFB1 at a level of 19.6 ppb. Alternate diagnoses were ruled out and a presumptive diagnosis of acute aflatoxicosis was made. After 45 days of intensive supportive therapy, the patient was discharged with no significant sequels.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of aflatoxicosis was based on the clinical picture, the finding of high levels ofAFB1 in foods the patient consumed, and after alternate diagnoses' were sufficiently excluded. We conclude that chronic exposure to moderately elevated levels of aflatoxinB1 may result in acute aflatoxicosis and fulminant hepatic failure.

Gastroenterol Res. 2009;2(1):48-50


aflatoxin, aflatoxicosis, Aspergillus, fulminant hepatic failure, rhabdomyolysis

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