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Arzneimittelforschung. 1997 Apr;47(4):353-5.

Effects of the alpha-/beta-blocking agent carvedilol on hepatic and systemic hemodynamics in patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


To enhance the portal hypotensive effect of nonselective beta-blockers, combinations of vasoactive agents with different mechanisms should be considered. The effect of carvedilol (CAS 72956-09-3, Artist), and alpha-/beta-blocking agent, on hepatic and systemic hemodynamics in 10 patients with portal hypertension was evaluated. After administration of carvedilol, the hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) decreased from 15.9 +/- 3.2 mmHg to 13.3 +/- 4.0 mmHg (mean +/- SD) at 60 min (-15%) and to 12.9 +/- 3.0 mmHg at 90 min (-17%, p < 0.05). However, only 5 patients showed a decrease of HVPG by more than 20% at 60 or 90 min. The estimated hepatic blood flow (EHBF) was not significantly reduced. In contrast, heart rate (-8%, p < 0.05), mean arterial pressure (-10%, p < 0.01), and cardiac index (CI) (-8%, p < 0.05) were all reduced at 90 min, while total systemic vascular resistance was not altered. The reduction of HVPG was significantly correlated with the decrease of CI (r = 0.6415, p < 0.05). The portal hypotensive effect of carvedilol may mainly result from a reduction of CI. However, because of the greater reduction of HVPG than that of CI, other additive actions were suggested.

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