Liver gas gangrene is rare and has a low prognosis. This case, reports a successful treatment of hepatic gas gangrene using an open drainage technique, followed by antibiotics and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO). An 82-year-old male with a history of left hepatectomy and bile duct resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma presented with chilling, lethargy and dyspnea. He had a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and angina pectoris. Physical examination revealed scleric icterus, right hypochondrium tenderness and percussion tenderness of the liver, with warm extremities. Laboratory findings revealed leukocytosis and increased levels of hepatobiliary enzymes. A computed tomography (CT) scan showed gas accumulation in an S8 lesion with portal vein gas. Percutaneous drainage was performed immediately, and broad-spectrum antibiotics were started, but the drainage was insufficient. Consequently, laparotomy drainage was carried out, followed by HBO. No abscess was detected at one-year of follow-up. Hepatic gas gangrene progresses rapidly and has a high mortality rate. Malignant disease and diabetes mellitus may be predisposing factors. While half of non-clostridial cases survive, most cases of hepatic gas gangrene are associated with clostridial infection and have a fatal outcome. All survival cases of hepatic gas gangrene were treated by laparotomy drainage, thus immediate laparotomy seems essential to prevent a fatal outcome.

Ono, Kashiwagi, Kawachi, Isogai, Miyake, Murata, Shimoyama, Fukai, (2018). Successful treatment of hepatic gas gangrene by open drainage: A case report and review of the Japanese literature. International journal of surgery case reports, 2018 ;49():121-125. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30005363