Fulminant hepatitis with severe lactate acidosis in HIV-infected patients on didanosine therapy

J Intern Med. 1994 Apr;235(4):367-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.1994.tb01088.x.


We report two cases of fulminant hepatic failure in HIV-1-infected patients treated with didanosine (ddI). Clinical manifestations including vomiting, diarrhoea and dyspnoea were identical in both cases. Biological data mainly revealed hepatic failure and lactic acidosis. Histological examination of liver biopsies showed diffuse microvesicular steatosis. The outcome was fatal in both patients. The only comparable case previously reported (Lai et al., 1991) showed close similarities in the clinical, biological and histological manifestations with microvesicular steatosis. This prompted us to suspect that ddI might be responsible for fulminant hepatitis in all three AIDS patients. This toxic effect may be added to the list of potential adverse events occurring during ddI therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • Acidosis, Lactic / chemically induced*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Aged
  • Didanosine / adverse effects*
  • Didanosine / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Didanosine