Hepatorenal Syndrome-Acute Kidney Injury in Liver Transplantation

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Sep;21(10S):S20-S26. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2023.06.010.


Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a serious complication of cirrhosis. HRS nomenclature has recently changed to HRS-AKI (acute kidney injury). HRS is a complex response to chronic vasodilatory changes brought about by portal hypertension and exacerbated by inflammatory responses that portends poor prognosis to patients with cirrhosis. This syndrome is commonly seen in the setting of infections, particularly spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Because of the frequency of renal injury in the patient with cirrhosis, HRS-AKI has to be considered high in the differential diagnosis of AKI. Discontinuation of potential triggering agents and elimination of pre-renal AKI, intrinsic renal disease, and structural uropathy as causes of injury are imperative on presentation. Volume expansion with albumin and vasoconstrictive drugs to counteract the underlying splanchnic vasodilation constitutes the most effective medical modality to manage this process. Although the most effective therapy is generally considered to be liver transplantation (LT), the logistic barriers of offering this life-saving therapy on time to all needing it is a major limitation. Terlipressin has been shown to reverse HRS-AKI in a significant proportion of those treated and consequently can lead to increased LT patient survival and freedom from renal replacement therapy. We will review the impact of HRS on the management of patients awaiting LT, present strategies to prevent this significant complication, and discuss major implications of recent therapeutic advances in the setting of LT.

PMID:37625863 | DOI:10.1016/j.cgh.2023.06.010

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