Herpes simplex is a rare but usually fatal cause of acute hepatitis in adults. Most previously reported cases have occurred in debilitated or immunosuppressed patients. We report two additional fatal cases that occurred in renal transplant recipients. In case 1, there is evidence that the allograft may have been the initial nidus of infection. In case 2, dissemination from a genital infection occurred and failed to respond to vidarabine therapy that was started early in the clinical course. We also review the literature concerning previously reported cases of herpes hepatitis.
(Arch Intern Med 140:1656-1660, 1980)