Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Ellen Shaw. M.D., Fellow in Hepatology: Mr. J is a forty-six-year-old white male who was initially seen on the medical service in July 1982. At that time he presented with hepatic encephalopathy, jaundice, and ascites. A liver biopsy was performed, confirming the clinical diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis superimposed on cirrhosis. Following discharge it was difficult to maintain Mr. J as an outpatient. He did not follow dietary restrictions or take diuretics as prescribed. Additionally he was unable to control his drinking. Finally about a year ago a Levine shunt was implanted in an effort to control his ascites. Subsequently he did well for a period of several months. He was able to abstain from alcohol with a resulting decrease in his ascites and jaundice. Recently he has resumed drinking, with a return of his symptoms. He has missed his last several appointments in the clinic. Control of his medical problems remains problematic unless his alcohol abuse can be better controlled.

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