The case is that of 83 year-old African American man with hypertension, hepatitis C induced decompensated cirrhosis with ascites, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on hemodialysis, fluid overload with peripheral edema and chronic hypotension. The patient was referred to the dialysis access center of Pittsburgh, PA for evaluation of his prolonged bleeding from the left upper arm brachial-basilic arterial-venous fistula (BBAVF).
On examination, he was found to be severely hypoxic with oxygen saturation of 80-92 mm Hg. Chest was clear on auscultation. Abdominal examination showed hepatosplenomegaly with ascites. Extremities showed 3+ peripheral edema bilaterally. His chest x-ray showed cardiomegaly with clear lung fields. His laboratory workup showed, WBC of 3.4, RBC 3.69, MCH 31.2, MCHC 32, and platelets 104 K/L. Chemistry showed Na 134, Cl 99, CO2 24, Total protein 7.2 with albumin of 2.9. SGOT was high at 44, vitamin D 42. Laboratory data were also indicative of chronic liver disease with bilirubin of 2.8, INR of 1.2, and albumin of 2.9, and platelet count of 104. Immunology for Hepatitis B Ag was negative, Hepatitis B Ab was 22 H, Hepatitis C Ab was positive. Arterial blood gas analysis showed PaO2 of 54 mmHg while breathing room air.