Influence of esophageal varices and spontaneous portal-systemic shunts on postprandial splanchnic hemodynamics.Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Feb; 96(2):550-6.AJ
The aim of the study was to assess postprandial splanchnic hemodynamic changes in cirrhosis in relation to variceal status.
In 9 healthy controls and 56 patients with liver cirrhosis, stratified according to variceal status and presence of spontaneous portal-systemic shunts, the portal vein diameter and flow velocity, the congestion index of the portal vein, and the resistive index of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA-RI) were studied by Doppler ultrasound before and 30, 60, and 120 min after the intake of a standard meal. Comparison of postprandial parameters with basal ones was done within each group by paired t test and among groups by ANOVA and Duncan test.
Healthy controls and cirrhotic patients without varices showed similar significant splanchnic hemodynamic changes, namely a reduction of SMA-RI (-13% at 30 min) and a consequent increase in portal vein diameter (respectively, +32% and +17% in the two groups) and velocity (+66% and +51%). A significant reduction of SMA-RI was also found in patients with varices, irrespective of the variceal size (range, -7 to -11%), but the expected portal vein dilation and velocity increase were progressively blunted with the increase of variceal size (range, 0-5% for diameter and 5-19% for velocity). Patients with spontaneous portal-systemic shunts showed a response similar to that of patients with large varices. Significant modification of the congestion index of the portal vein did not occur in any group.
Our results show that the hemodynamic response to meal in patients with liver cirrhosis is influenced by the presence and size of esophageal varices and the presence of spontaneous portal-systemic shunts.