Flucloxacillin-Induced Hepatotoxicity - Association with HLA-B*5701

Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2020 Feb 27;66(1):12-17. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.66.1.12. eCollection 2020.


Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) to flucloxacillin is rare and is classified as idiosyncratic, as it is dependent on individual susceptibility, unpredictable, and dose-independent. The authors present the case of a 74 - year - old man with a history of monoclonal gammopathy under investigation and alcoholic habits of 24 g/day, with asthenia, anorexia, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and fever with three days of evolution. He was treated with two courses of antibiotic therapy with flucloxacillin to erysipelas previously (3 months and 2 weeks before admission). Lab tests showed serum AST levels of 349 U/L, ALT 646 U/L, alkaline phosphatase 302 U/L, GGT 652 U/L, total bilirubin 3.3 mg/dL and direct bilirubin 2.72 mg/dL. Infectious, autoimmune, and metabolic causes were ruled out. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography showed normal results. Liver biopsy showed mild multifocal (predominantly microvesicular) steatosis; marked changes in the centrilobular areas (sinusoidal dilatation, marked congestion, hemorrhage, and multifocal hepatocyte collapse); expansion of the portal areas with the formation of bridges; proliferated bile ducts and inflammatory infiltrate of variable density, predominantly mononuclear type. The HLA-B*5701 screening test was positive. Hepatic biochemical tests remain abnormal with a significative increase in total bilirubin, which reached levels of 24.1 mg/dL, with the development of jaundice, pruritus, and choluria. DILI was assumed, and the patient was treated with ursodeoxycholic acid. There was favorable evolution, without evidence of blood coagulation dysfunction or encephalopathy. The analytic normalization was, however, slow, with evolution to chronicity. The authors present this case to remind the possibility of moderate/severe drug-induced liver injury to flucloxacillin, an antibiotic commonly used in clinical practice and association with the HLA-B * 5701 allele reported in the literature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / enzymology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology*
  • Floxacillin / adverse effects*
  • HLA-B Antigens / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunoelectrophoresis / methods
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B*57:01 antigen
  • Floxacillin