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Abstract

Ascites and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) are the major and challenging complications of cirrhosis and portal hypertension that significantly affect the course of the disease. Liver insufficiency, portal hypertension, arterial vasodilatation, and systemic cardiovascular dysfunction are major pathophysiological hallmarks. Modern treatment of ascites is based on this recognition and includes modest salt restriction and stepwise diuretic therapy with spironolactone and loop diuretics. Tense and refractory ascites should be treated with a large volume paracentesis, followed by volume expansion or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. New treatment strategies include the use of vasopressin V(2)-receptor antagonists and vasoconstrictors. The HRS denotes a functional and reversible impairment of renal function in patients with severe cirrhosis with a poor prognosis. Attempts of treatment should seek to improve liver function, ameliorate arterial hypotension and central hypovolemia, and reduce renal vasoconstriction. Ample treatment of ascites and HRS is important to improve the quality of life and prevent further complications, but since treatment of fluid retention does not significantly improve survival, these patients should always be considered for liver transplantation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftHepatology International
Vol/bind2
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)416-428
Antal sider12
ISSN1936-0533
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2008

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