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Doppler Ultrasound of Hepatic and System Hemodynamics in Patients with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis

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An Erratum to this article was published on 27 March 2009


Objective The progression of liver cirrhosis eventually increases cardiac output, while blood pressure and systemic vascular resistance are reduced. A complex behavior of portal hemodynamic to hepatic artery and system circulation has not yet been presented. There is a lack in knowledge about the correlation of local and systemic circulation parameters to the degree of liver failure, with respect to presence of ascites and esophageal varices. Patients and Methods The study sample was 76 patients hospitalized for established alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Patients were divided into groups according to Child-Pugh clinical score; grade A (n = 24), B (n = 18) and C (n = 18). Ascites was found in 28 patients and esophageal varices in 46. Portal vein flow velocity (PVFV), hepatic artery resistance index (HARI), heart and great vessels within mediastinal cavity were assessed with ultrasound devices equipped with spectral Doppler. Results Significant differences in mean blood pressure, systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI) minute volume, cardiac index and PVFV were found in the group of patients with the most severe stage (C). In regard to presence of ascites statistically significant difference was observed in elevated mean blood pressure and SVRI. Correlation was found between conjugated HARI to blood pressure and to SVRI. Conclusions In patients with liver cirrhosis there is an inversely reciprocal relationship of conjugated HARI with PVFV, correlating to disease grade. PVFV in cirrhosis decreases and HARI values were over 0.7. Study demonstrated that combining echocardiography with abdominal Doppler ultrasound served as valuable non-invasive diagnostic insight in liver and systemic circulation among different grade of cirrhosis.

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The authors would like to thank to Stevo Knezevic, MD. PhD. professor of medicine for lecturing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Boban Marko.

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Drazen, Z., Neven, L., Marko, B. et al. Doppler Ultrasound of Hepatic and System Hemodynamics in Patients with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis. Dig Dis Sci 55, 458–466 (2010).

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