[Cardiomyopathy in liver cirrhosis--an undiagnosed entity?].Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2010 Apr-Jun; 114(2):319-26.RM
Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy is a condition recently known in liver cirrhosis consisting of systolic dysfunction to stress factors, diastolic dysfunction and electrophysiological abnormalities in the absence of cardiac disease. The prevalence of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy remains unknown until now. It can be diagnosed by using a combination of electrocardiograph, 2-dimensional echocardiography, and various serum markers (brain natriuretic factor--BNP, proBNP, TnI). Pathogenic mechanisms underlying cirrhotic cardiomyopathy development include abnormal signaling betaadrenergic, cardiomyocites membrane fluidity changes, interstitial fibrosis, myocardial hypertrophy, altered transmembrane ion channels as intervention with negative inotropic effect of different substances whose concentration is increased in cirrhosis. Major stresses on the cardiovasculary system such as liver transplantations, infections, insertion of transjugular portosystemic stent-shunt (TIPSS) have been demonstrated to put in evidence the presence of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Heart failure is a significant cause of mortality after liver transplantation but the improvement of liver function determines cardiac abnormalities reversal. Current management recommendations include empirical, nonspecific and mainly supportive measures, no specific treatment can be recommended, and cardiac failure should be treated as in non-cirrhotic patients with sodium restriction, diuretics, and oxygen therapy when necessary. The exact prognosis remains unclear. The extent of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy generally correlates to the degree of liver insufficiency. Reversibility is possible (either pharmacological or after liver transplantation), but further studies are needed.