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.
- Journal Article