Unique case of presumed lisinopril-induced hepatotoxicity

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010 Aug 15;67(16):1354-6. doi: 10.2146/ajhp100083.


Purpose: A case of presumed lisinopril-induced hepatotoxicity is reported.

Summary: A 30-year-old woman had complained of fatigue and yellow eyes for two days. Her medical history included hypertension and nephrotic syndrome. Her medications included furosemide 20 mg daily (for almost 6.5 years) and lisinopril 10 mg daily (for eight months). She had been treated with quinapril, enalapril, and lisinopril in the past by different primary care physicians without any adverse effects. She did not abuse alcohol and denied any liver-related problems in the past. Her physical examination revealed icterus and right-upper-quadrant abdominal tenderness. Initial laboratory tests revealed elevated liver enzyme values. Ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) scans of the patient's abdomen suggested hepatocellular disease with mild hepatomegaly and a normal biliary tract. Due to worsening bilirubin and liver enzyme values, lisinopril was stopped. In the absence of a probable cause of the patient's hepatotoxicity, a CT-guided liver biopsy was performed. Histological examination of the liver tissue showed moderate chronic inflammatory cell infiltrates in the portal area, predominantly composed of lymphocytes with mild-to-moderate interface hepatitis. No centrolobular necrosis or steatosis was seen. After lisinopril was discontinued, there was a rapid improvement in the patient's clinical and biochemical pictures. On her follow-up clinic visit approximately two months later, all of her liver enzyme values had normalized.

Conclusion: A woman who had received quinapril, enalapril, and lisinopril in the past without apparent adverse effects developed hepatocellular disease that became evident eight months after lisinopril therapy was reinstituted. The presumed hepatotoxicity resolved after discontinuation of lisinopril.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lisinopril / adverse effects*
  • Lisinopril / therapeutic use


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Lisinopril