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Postmeal portal flow variations in HCV-related chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis with and without hyperdynamic syndrome.



Background: Doppler ultrasonography (US) of portal blood flow and portal flow volume (PFV) are useful to define changes in portal hemodynamics of patients with chronic liver diseases. The meal test with postmeal PFV measurements is generally accepted as a reproducible noninvasive test to evaluate the severity of portal hypertension. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether monitoring PFV changes after ingestion of a standard meal would be useful to characterize patients with chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis in the presence or absence of hyperdynamic syndrome (HS) characterized by elevated PFV, splenomegaly, systemic hypotension and/or increased cardiac output. Patients and Methods: Thirty-seven patients (22 men and 15 women, median age 53 years) with hepatitis C virus infection and 20 healthy age- and sex- matched volunteers (Controls) were enrolled in the study. There were 19 (51.4% ) patients with chronic hepatitis (Group A) and 18 (48.6%) with ultrasonographic evidence of liver cirrhosis (Child-PughclassB),9ofwhomhadanHS(GroupB)while the remainder (Group C) did not. Each patient underwent liver color Doppler US and the test was repeated 30, 60 and 90 minutes after administration of a standard meal (300 kcal fluid meal containing 12 g of proteins, 11.6 g of lipids and 36.8 g of carbohydrates). Results: The baseline PFV did not differ (p=NS) between Controls and both Groups A and C, while the\ud PFV of Group B patients was significantly (p<0.01) higher. After 30 minutes, the PFV increased (p<0.01) both in Controls and Group A patients, while the differences were not significant in cirrhotic patients (Groups B and C). Our study confirmed that the postmeal PFV increases in both healthy individuals and in patients with chronic hepatitis, while in cirrhotic pati ents no si gni fi cant changes occur. I n concl usi on, monitoring the portal blood flow in cirrhotic patients before and after administration of a standard meal might be a suitable test to evaluate potential disturbances of the flow itself. Moreover, the test could be useful to determine optimal pharmacological or surgical interventions aimed at restoring a better flow to the liver by reducing or favouring the occurrence of spontaneous mesenteric-systemic venous shunts

Topics: Portal blood flow, Doppler ultrasonography, meal intake, chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, hyperdynamic syndrome.
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:arts.units.it:11368/1898164
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