Refractory hypoxemia caused by hepatopulmonary syndrome: a case report.

Journal of medical case reports

PubMedID: 25491238

Govindan ML, Kuo KW, Mahani MG, Shanley TP. Refractory hypoxemia caused by hepatopulmonary syndrome: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2014;8418.
INTRODUCTION
Hepatopulmonary syndrome is a clinical syndrome that can affect patients of all ages with liver disease and is more common in children with biliary atresia. Contrast echocardiography is the test of choice to diagnose the presence of intrapulmonary vascular dilatation. The established treatment for hepatopulmonary syndrome is liver transplantation.

CASE PRESENTATION
We present the case of an 8-month-old Caucasian baby boy with a history of biliary atresia, polysplenia, and interrupted inferior vena cava who presented with hypoxemia and cyanosis that progressed rapidly. A chest computed tomography angiogram revealed significant dilatation of the pulmonary vasculature, prompting further evaluation and diagnosis of hepatopulmonary syndrome with contrast echocardiography. He was maintained on a milrinone infusion while awaiting liver transplantation. His hypoxemia improved slowly following liver transplantation, requiring tracheostomy and prolonged ventilator dependence.

CONCLUSIONS
Hepatopulmonary syndrome should be included in the differential for progressive hypoxemia in children with liver disease, particularly those with biliary atresia. Imaging with chest computed tomography angiogram and contrast echocardiography should be considered in cases of unexplained refractory hypoxemia.