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 18 January 2018

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News

Cardiac alterations in cirrhosis: reversible after liver transplant

Researchers report in January's Journal of Hepatology that cardiac alterations in cirrhosis presenting with mild increases in ventricular wall thickness, and diastolic dysfunction that worsens with ascites and physical stress, can be reversed by liver transplantation.

News image

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Liver cirrhosis induces cardiac alterations.

Dr Genescaa and colleagues from Barcelona, Spain undertook a study in order to define these alterations and assess their reversibility after transplantation.

The researchers oversaw echocardiography and stress ventriculography for 40 cirrhotic patients and 15 controls.

The research team reevaluated 15 cirrhotics 6–12 months after transplantation.

The researchers found that cirrhotics had higher left ventricular wall thickness and ejection fraction than controls.

Basal diastolic function was similar.

During stress, cirrhotics presented lower increases of heart rate, left ventricular ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac index, and diastolic dysfunction with lower ventricular peak filling rate.

Ascitic patients exhibited more diastolic dysfunction at rest and during stress compared to non-ascitic patients
Journal of Hepatology

The researchers noted that exercise capacity was reduced and ascitic patients exhibited more diastolic dysfunction at rest and during stress compared to non-ascitic patients.

Liver transplantation caused regression of ventricular wall thickness and improvement of diastolic function.

The researchers also noted normalization of systolic response and exercise capacity during stress (significant increases in heart rate, ventricular ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac index).

Dr Genescaa concluded, "Cardiac alterations in cirrhosis present with mild increases in ventricular wall thickness, diastolic dysfunction that worsens with ascites and physical stress, and abnormal systolic response to stress limiting exercise capacity."

"Liver transplantation reverses these alterations."

Journal of Hepatology; 2005: 42 (1): 68-74
07 January 2005

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