Glycogenic Hepatopathy: Thinking Outside the Box

Nishant Parmar, Muslim Atiq, Lee Austin, Ross A Miller, Thomas Smyrk, Kabir Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Glycogenic hepatopathy (GH) remains underrecognized in adults as most clinicians mistake it for the more common hepatic abnormality associated with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus in this age group, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is also complicated by the fact that both entities are indistinguishable on liver ultrasound. We herein describe a similar predicament in which a young adult female presented with bilateral upper quadrant abdominal pain, tender hepatomegaly, lactic acidosis and a >10-fold increase in liver enzymes, which worsened after the administration of high-dose steroids. Despite intravenous normal saline resuscitation, serum transaminitis persisted in a fluctuating manner. Ultimately, a liver biopsy confirmed GH. Biochemically, GH is driven by high amounts of both circulating glucose and insulin or by the administration of high-dose steroids. Improving glycemic control is the mainstay of treatment for GH. However, in our case, improvement in glycated hemoglobin of just 0.6% was enough to achieve symptomatic relief, supporting recent claims of the involvement of other identified factors in disease development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-6
Number of pages6
JournalCase Reports in Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015


  • Journal Article


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