Cardiac and systemic haemodynamic complications of liver cirrhosis.Scand Cardiovasc J. 2009 Aug; 43(4):218-25.SC
Cardiovascular complications of liver cirrhosis include cardiac dysfunction and abnormalities in the central-, splanchnic,- and peripheral circulation. Vasodilatation prevails, but vascular beds with various degrees of reduced and increased haemodynamic resistance are the results of massive activation of powerful homeostatic, regulatory systems. Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy implies systolic and diastolic dysfunction and electrophysiological abnormalities, an entity that is different from alcoholic heart muscle disease. Being often clinical latent, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy can be unmasked by physical and pharmacological strain. Cardiac failure is an important cause of mortality after liver transplantation and stressful procedures as insertions of transjugular intrahepatic portal systemic shunt (TIPS), peritoneal venous shunting, and other types of surgery. Improvement of liver function has been shown to reverse the cardiovascular complications. The clinical significance is an important topic for future research. At present, no specific treatment can be recommended, and the cardiac failure in cirrhosis should be treated as in non-cirrhotic patients with sodium restriction, diuretics, and beta-adrenergic blocking agents. Special care should be taken with the use of ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin antagonist in these patients.