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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1999 Oct;29(3):261-5.

Serum uric acid levels in patients with cirrhosis: a reevaluation.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


It has been reported that the serum uric acid levels in patients with cirrhosis were decreased compared with healthy subjects. These studies suggested that the lower serum uric acid levels in cirrhotic patients were attributed mainly to an increased effective vascular volume, and consequently to an excessive renal clearance of uric acid. However, the previous observations are challenged by a recent hypothesis for the pathogenesis of hyperdynamic circulation and formation of ascites in cirrhosis. The current study was undertaken to reevaluate serum uric acid levels in patients with cirrhosis. Ninety-eight cirrhotic patients with normal renal functions were included in this study. All biochemical and hemodynamic data were utilized for analysis. The mean serum uric acid level (mean, 6.1+/-1.2 mg/dL; range, 2.7-9.1 mg/dL) was higher than that of the age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects (mean, 5.5+/-1.3 mg/dL; range, 2.9-8.1 mg/dL; p = 0.018). Using multiple regression analysis it was determined that the serum uric acid level was not related to the severity of liver disease, cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance, and hepatic venous pressure gradient but was related closely to age (r = 0.210, p = 0.026) and effective renal plasma flow (r = -0.677, p < 0.0001). Compared with cirrhotic patients without ascites, those with ascites had a significantly higher serum uric acid level (6.7+/-1.6 mg/dL vs. 5.6+/-1.7 mg/dL, p < 0.05) and lower effective renal plasma flow (396+/-125 mL/min vs. 445+/-149 mL/min, p < 0.05). In conclusion, for cirrhotic patients with normal serum creatinine levels, the current study shows that the mean serum uric acid level is higher than that of healthy control subjects. It is not related to the severity of liver failure and systemic and portal hemodynamics, but is related closely to renal functions, especially the renal plasma flow.

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