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J Intern Med. 2002 Jul;252(1):56-63.

Muscle strength, Na,K-pumps, magnesium and potassium in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis -- relation to spironolactone.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine V (Hepatology and Gastroenterology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark. niels@akh.aaa.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the muscle strength in relation to muscle contents of magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) and sodium, potassium (Na,K)-pumps in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.

DESIGN:

An open cross-sectional study.

SETTING AND SUBJECTS:

Fifty-one consecutive patients with liver cirrhosis admitted to the Department of Hepatology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Biopsies of skeletal muscle were performed in patients and controls for measurements of Mg, K, and Na,K-pumps. Furthermore, maximum isokinetic knee extension and skeletal muscle mass were evaluated.

RESULTS:

Muscle mass, muscle strength, muscle Mg and muscle K were substantially reduced in the patients (P < 0.01, all), and fell with increasing severity of the liver disease reflected in the Child-Pugh (C-P) class. Patients treated with spironolactone for 2 weeks or more, had increased muscle strength, muscle Mg and content of Na,K-pumps, compared with the rest of the patients (P < 0.05, all). In a multivariate analysis of the patients, skeletal muscle mass, muscle Mg and daily alcohol consumption (g) were independent predictors of isokinetic muscle strength (P < 0.05, all).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis showed considerably reduced muscle strength and muscle Mg was an independent predictor of muscle strength. Surprisingly, in the spironolactone treated patients, muscle weakness was less pronounced, possibly because of the action of spironolactone on muscle Mg, K and Na,K-pump content.

PMID:
12074739
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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