We present a case of a 45-year-old man admitted to the hospital with new-onset ascites and bilateral subconjunctival haemorrhages. He was found to have elevated liver enzymes in a hepatocellular pattern and direct hyperbilirubinemia. A diagnostic paracentesis was consistent with portal hypertension (PH). Extensive workup for acute and chronic liver disease was unremarkable. In the absence of clinical evidence of cirrhosis to explain PH, a liver biopsy with hepatic venous pressure gradient was pursued, which revealed proteinaceous material and apple-green birefringence under polarised light consistent with amyloid deposits. Bone marrow biopsy revealed plasma cell neoplasm with proteinaceous deposits consistent with concomitant multiple myeloma with AL amyloidosis. He developed rapidly progressive liver failure and passed shortly after presentation despite treatment with chemotherapy. This case illustrates how primary hepatic amyloidosis can present with a physiology that mimics cirrhosis and can easily be missed.
- malignant disease and immunosuppression
- malignant and benign haematology
- liver disease
- portal hypertension
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Contributors MO, KS and MG provided direct patient care to patient, workup/diagnosis of patients condition, drafting of the case report, literature review and editing. AA produced and interpreted histological images and contributed in drafting of the case report, literature review and editing. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.