The Circulatory System in Liver Disease.Crit Care Clin. 2016 Jul; 32(3):331-42.CC
In the cirrhotic liver, distortion of the normal liver architecture is caused by structural and vascular changes. Portal hypertension is often associated with a hyperdynamic circulatory syndrome in which cardiac output and heart rate are increased and systemic vascular resistance is decreased. The release of several vasoactive substances is the primary factor involved in the reduction of mesenteric arterial resistance, resulting in sodium and water retention with eventual formation of ascites. Management of these patients with acute cardiac dysfunction often requires invasive hemodynamic monitoring in an intensive care unit setting to tailor decisions regarding use of fluids and vasopressors.