Peculiar characteristics of portal-hepatic hemodynamics of alcoholic cirrhosis.

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Peculiar characteristics of portal-hepatic hemodynamics of alcoholic cirrhosis.

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 7;20(25):8005-8010

Authors: Bolognesi M, Verardo A, Di Pascoli M

Alcohol-related cirrhosis is a consequence of heavy and prolonged drinking. Similarly to patients with cirrhosis of other etiologies, patients with alcoholic cirrhosis develop portal hypertension and the hepatic, splanchnic and systemic hemodynamic alterations that follow. However, in alcoholic cirrhosis, some specific features can be observed. Compared to viral cirrhosis, in alcohol-related cirrhosis sinusoidal pressure is generally higher, hepatic venous pressure gradient reflects portal pressure better, the portal flow perfusing the liver is reduced despite an increase in liver weight, the prevalence of reversal portal blood flow is higher, a patent paraumbilical vein is a more common finding and signs of hyperdynamic circulations, such as an increased cardiac output and decreased systemic vascular resistance, are more pronounced. Moreover, alcohol consumption can acutely increase portal pressure and portal-collateral blood flow. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy, another pathological consequence of prolonged alcohol misuse, may contribute to the hemodynamic changes occurring in alcohol-related cirrhosis. The aim of this review was to assess the portal-hepatic changes that occur in alcohol-related cirrhosis, focusing on the differences observed in comparison with patients with viral cirrhosis. The knowledge of the specific characteristics of this pathological condition can be helpful in the management of portal hypertension and its complications in patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis.

PMID: 25009370 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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