Infiltration of the liver with consecutive severe dysfunction is rarely seen in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We describe a case of a 32-year-old woman with severe icterus, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia and hepatosplenomegaly. ALL was diagnosed. One day after admission, she developed hepatic encephalopathy with ammonia concentrations in plasma >100 μmol/l. Hepatic infiltration was presumed and chemotherapy was initiated immediately which led to resolution of hepatic encephalopathy and complete hematological remission. Clinicians should be aware of unusual presentations of ALL and difficulties for the application of chemotherapy in patients with liver failure.

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