Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hepatol. 1999 Mar;30(3):451-5.

Von Willebrand factor could be an index of endothelial dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis: relationship to degree of liver failure and nitric oxide levels.

Author information

Sección de Higado, Laboratorio Central, Hospital Italiano, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a marker of endothelial cell activation, and nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator synthesized by endothelial cells, in 27 patients with cirrhosis at different stages of the disease. These results were compared with those of age-matched normal, healthy subjects (n=10).


vWF:antigen was measured by electro-immunodiffusion test and serum nitrite and nitrate levels, the stable end products of nitric oxide metabolism, were determined by an enzymatic procedure.


vWF:antigen and nitrite/nitrate levels were significantly higher in cirrhotic patients (367+/-185% and 29.3+/-10.8 micromol/l) than in healthy subjects (92+/-20% and 19.2+/-8.3 micromol/l, p<0.05, respectively). Higher levels of vWF:antigen and nitrites/nitrates were observed in patients with more advanced degrees of liver failure, as reflected by quantitative Child-Pugh's score (516+/-154% and 38.3+/-7.8 micromol/l in Child-Pugh > or = 9 vs 227+/-61% and 21.0+/-6.1 micromol/l in Child-Pugh <9, p<0.001, respectively). Moreover, both endothelial-related factors were higher in patients with ascites than those without ascites (543+/-158% and 37.8+/-8.9 micromol/l vs 262+/-103% and 24.4+/-8.8 micromol/l, p<0.001, respectively). In the overall series, a highly significant linear correlation between nitrites/nitrates and vWF:antigen levels was observed in patients with cirrhosis (r=0.79, p<0.001).


These results support a cirrhosis-related endothelial dysfunction and suggest that plasma vWF measurement could be useful as a marker of endothelial disturbance in patients with cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center