We describe herein the case of a 57-year-old man with thalassemia who developed acute liver failure after undergoing endoscopic injection sclerotherapy (EIS) to control hemorrhage from a ruptured esophageal varix. The patient, who had been comfirmed as having liver cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis C with thalassemia in 1989, was admitted to our department to undergo EIS for esophageal varices, at which time his serum total bilirubin level was 5.5 mg/dl. As a small amount of hematemesis occurred just after a percutaneous transhepatic portography was performed, emergency EIS was carried out, following which the serum total bilirubin level markedly increased, mainly with a direct fraction, until it reached 70 ms/dl. The patient eventually died from acute liver failure with extreme hyperbilirubinemia on the 27th day after experiencing hematemesis despite all treatment. This unfortunate case demonstrates that sclerotherapy could be an inappropriate method of treatment for patients with hemolytic disease.
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