Concomitant Acute Hepatic Failure and Renal Failure Induced by Intravenous Amiodarone: A Case Report and Literature Review

Mujtaba Mohamed, Alsadiq Al-Hillan, Marcus Flores, Christian Kaunzinger, Arman Mushtaq, Arif Asif, Mohammad Hossain


Hepatotoxicity caused by chronic oral amiodarone is well documented with around 15-20% incidence rate. However, acute liver failure due to intravenous (IV) amiodarone is rare clinical presentation with 3% incidence rate. Incidence of concomitant renal failure is even rarer. There is no full explanation for the underlying mechanism. Herein, we are presenting a rare case of concomitant acute hepatic failure and acute-on-chronic renal injury induced by use of IV amiodarone. A 67-year-old man with past medical history of coronary artery disease s/p coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), history of alcoholism, and chronic kidney disease stage 3 presented with chest pain for 1 week. In the emergency department (ED), he was found to have atrial flutter. Due to unresponsiveness to IV beta-blocker and diltiazem, the patient was loaded with IV amiodarone and continued IV amiodarone drip. His liver function tests (LFTs) and renal functions at the time of administration of IV amiodarone were aspartate transaminase (AST) 176 (10 - 42 IU/L) and alanine transaminase (ALT) 208 (10 - 60 IU/L), international normalized ratio (INR) 1.39 (reference value 2 - 3), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) 37 (5 - 25 mg/dL), and creatinine 1.85. Sixteen hours later patient developed acute hepatic failure with AST 4,250 (reference value 10 - 42 IU/L), ALT 2,422 (10 - 60 IU/L), INR 2.28, and acute renal failure with creatinine of 3.2 mg/dL (0.44 - 1.0 mg/dL), and BUN of 44 mg/d (5 - 25 mg/dL). Patient was intubated due to acute hepatic encephalopathy and sent to intensive care unit (ICU). IV amiodarone was stopped immediately. All workup for other causes of acute hepatic failure came back negative. He was started on IV N-acetylcysteine and required hemodialysis for acute-on-chronic renal failure. LFTs peaked 72 h after discontinuation of amiodarone. Kidney functions started to improve 5 days after discontinuation of amiodarone and patient came off hemodialysis. Acute hepatic failure as result of IV amiodarone is a rare presentation; however, it has a high mortality. Risk factors include low ejection fraction, hepatic congestion and pre-existing hepatic dysfunction. No obvious underlying mechanism to this presentation has been fully explained. Acute renal failure can be associated with this presentation which is even rarer. Stopping IV amiodarone, administering N-acetylcysteine and good supportive care can lead to favorable outcome.

Gastroenterol Res. 2020;13(1):40-43


Amiodarone; Drug toxicity; Hepatic failure; Renal failure

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