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Clostridium perfringens-induced liver abscess with severe haemolysis
  1. Tomotaka Takanosu,
  2. Yoshimitsu Izawa,
  3. Chikara Yonekawa and
  4. Takashi Mato
  1. Emergency Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Tochigi, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tomotaka Takanosu; r1631tt{at}


Clostridium perfringens is notorious for causing skin and soft tissue infections and food poisoning. Rarely, C. perfringens infections are associated with severe haemolysis, with a mortality rate of >80%. A previously healthy man in his 70s who presented with fever as his chief symptom was promptly admitted to a regional core hospital. Over the next 3 hours, shock and multiple organ failure ensued, leading to referral to our hospital for intensive care. We suspected a liver abscess caused by C. perfringens infection with haemolysis, findings of severe haemolysis and a liver mass with gas production that appeared within a few hours. Though surgical drainage was contemplated, low blood pressure resulted in death within 3 hours of arrival at our hospital. The next day, a blood culture confirmed C. perfringens, proving the diagnosis. Improving patient outcomes requires increased awareness of the disease and early detection.

  • Liver disease
  • Infectious diseases
  • Adult intensive care

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  • Contributors The following authors were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content—TT and YI. The following authors gave final approval of the manuscript—CY and TM.

  • 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.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.