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Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 32, Issue 10, pp 1118–1124 | Cite as

Insulin resistance is the main determinant of impaired glucose tolerance in patients with liver cirrhosis

  • G. Marchesini
  • G. P. Bianchi
  • G. Forlani
  • Anna Giulia Rusticali
  • Daniela Patrono
  • M. Capelli
  • M. Zoli
  • P. Vannini
  • E. Pisi
Original Articles

Abstract

To clarify the pathogenesis of impaired glucose tolerance in patients with cirrhosis, several factors possibly affecting carbohydrate metabolism were studied in 12 cirrhotic patients with different blood glucose responses to an oral glucose tolerance test. Glucose levels, 120 min after the load, were inversely and significantly related to insulin sensitivity, measured by means of the euglycemic “glucose clamp” technique (r=−0.746). Basal and glucose-induced insulin secretion (insulin and C-peptide levels) only slightly correlated with glucose tolerance, which was not related to functional liver cell mass (galactose elimination), portal-systemic shunting (degree of varices at endoscopy), or maximal glucose-independent insulin secretion (peak C-peptide levels after a glucagon test). Multiple regression analysis identified insulin sensitivity and liver cell mass as the independent variables able to explain most of the variance of 120-min blood glucose (about 84%), and both of them contributed considerably to the regression. While reduced insulin sensitivity is probably the main cause of impaired glucose tolerance, the reduced hepatocellular mass only appears to modulate the degree, and therefore the clinical relevance, of this defect.

Key Words

glucose tolerance insulin resistance liver cirrhosis 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Marchesini
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. P. Bianchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Forlani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Giulia Rusticali
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniela Patrono
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Capelli
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Zoli
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Vannini
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Pisi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di Clinica Medica e Terapia, Cattedra di Malattie del Ricambio, Istituto di Clinica Medica e GastroenterologiaUniversitá di Bologna, Policlinico S. OrsolaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratorio Centralizzato, Policlinico S. OrsolaBolognaItaly

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