Mesenteric Venous Stenosis Reduces Hyperammonemia in the Portacaval Shunted Rat

  • Kaj Johansen
  • Catherine Girod
  • Samuel S. Lee
  • Didier Lebrec
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 22)


Hyperammonemia is a constant finding following portacaval anastomosis (PCA), and has been incriminated in the genesis of post-shunt encephalopathy (PSE) in the human. We developed a model for mesenteric venous hypertension in the rat by modification of a commonly-used technique for studying extrahepatic portal hypertension. We then examined serum ammonia levels in rats undergoing sham operation, mesenteric vein stenosis (MVS) alone, PCA alone, and MVS plus PCA.

MVS animals had significant (p < 0.05) elevation in mesenteric venous pressures two to three weeks after operation. Serum ammonia levels were normal in rats undergoing sham operation and MVS, and were significantly elevated (p < 0.001) in rats with PCA. However, combination of MVS and PCA resulted in a significant (p < 0.01) reduction in serum ammonia levels.

These data suggest that ammonia absorption from the intestine is a function of splanchnic venous pressure. This finding may be relevant to the management of the neuropsychiatric deterioration seen following PCA in the human.


Hepatic Encephalopathy Portacaval Shunt Portal Vein Stenosis Serum Ammonia Level Portacaval Anastomosis 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaj Johansen
    • 1
  • Catherine Girod
    • 1
  • Samuel S. Lee
    • 1
  • Didier Lebrec
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité de Recherches de Physiopathologie Hepatique (INSERM U-24)Hopital BeaujonClichyFrance

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