Glucose tolerance after portacaval shunt in liver cirrhosis.Diabete Metab. 1986 Aug; 12(4):197-202.DM
The liver plays a key role in glucose homeostasis and insulin metabolism. Altered glucose and insulin levels in peripheral blood are common findings in chronic liver disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of surgical portosystemic shunt on plasma glucose and insulin responses to glucose administration in a group of cirrhotic patients. For this purpose 10 cirrhotic subjects (8 males and 2 females) aged 42 to 65 years underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, 75 g), and an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT, 0.33 g/kg) before and after undergoing a side-to side portocaval anastomosis (PCS). 6 noncirrhotic, nondiabetic patients matched for sex, age and body weight who underwent abdominal vascular surgery served as controls. In cirrhotic subjects, the PCS resulted in: increased plasma glucose and insulin levels during OGTT; decreased C-peptide level during OGTT; unmodified plasma glucose and insulin concentrations during IVGTT. In control subjects the abdominal surgery did not affect plasma glucose and insulin responses to oral or intravenous glucose loads. These results suggest that in cirrhotic subjects surgical portocaval shunt results in: deterioration of oral but not intravenous glucose tolerance, due to an escape of ingested glucose from the liver; increased peripheral insulin response to oral glucose administration as a consequence of reduction in hepatic removal of the hormone; and decreased pancreatic response to oral glucose due possibly to a greater feed back inhibition of beta-cell. These events seem to be a consequence of the shunt per se and not of a deterioration of hepatocellular function.