How is portal hypertension manifested in cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Patients with cirrhosis demonstrate increased splanchnic arterial flow and, accordingly, increased splanchnic venous inflow into the liver. Increased splanchnic arterial flow is explained partly by decreased peripheral vascular resistance and increased cardiac output in the patient with cirrhosis. Nitric oxide appears to be the major driving force for this phenomenon. [8]

Furthermore, evidence for splanchnic vasodilation exists. Putative splanchnic vasodilators include glucagon, vasoactive intestinal peptide, substance P, prostacyclin, bile acids, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and nitric oxide.


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