INTRODUCTION: Arterial vasodilation and hyperdynamic circulation are considered hallmarks of the pathophysiological mechanisms of decompensation in cirrhosis. However, detailed characterization of peripheral, splanchnic, renal, and cardiac hemodynamic have not previously been published in a spectrum from healthy stage to advanced decompensated liver disease with hepatorenal syndrome-acute kidney injury (HRS-AKI).

METHODS: We included 87 patients with cirrhosis and 27 healthy controls in this prospective cohort study. The population comprised patients with compensated cirrhosis (n = 27) and decompensated cirrhosis (n = 60); patients with decompensated cirrhosis were further separated into subsets of responsive ascites (33), refractory ascites (n = 16), and HRS-AKI (n = 11). We measured portal pressure and assessed regional blood flow by magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: Patients with compensated cirrhosis experienced higher azygos venous flow and higher hepatic artery flow fraction of cardiac index than controls ( P < 0.01), but other flow parameters were not significantly different. Patients with decompensated cirrhosis experienced significantly higher cardiac index ( P < 0.01), higher superior mesenteric artery flow ( P = 0.01), and lower systemic vascular resistance ( P < 0.001) compared with patients with compensated cirrhosis. Patients with HRS-AKI had the highest cardiac output and lowest renal flow of all groups ( P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). Associations of single hemodynamic parameters were stronger with model for end-stage liver disease than with portal pressure.

DISCUSSION: The regional cardiocirculatory changes seem closely linked to clinical symptoms with 3 distinguished hemodynamic stages from compensated to decompensated cirrhosis and, finally, to HRS-AKI. The attenuated renal perfusion despite high cardiac output in patients with HRS-AKI challenges the prevailing pathophysiological hypothesis of cardiac dysfunction as a causal factor in HRS-AKI. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging seems an accurate and reliable noninvasive method to assess hemodynamics and has potential as a diagnostic tool in patients with cirrhosis.

TidsskriftThe American journal of gastroenterology
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)1269-1278
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 aug. 2022


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