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J Surg Res. 2003 Nov;115(1):133-8.

The influence of continuous seven-day elevated intra-abdominal pressure in the renal perfusion in cirrhotic rats.

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Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Since hepatorenal syndrome is a functional renal failure due to renal ischemia in cirrhotics with refractory ascites, we investigated whether increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) impairs the renal function and perfusion in cirrhotic portal hypertensive rats. Eight groups of 32 rats each were studied, including 4 control and 4 CCl(4) cirrhotic groups. These were subdivided into two groups each, with and without an increased IAP, and further subdivided into groups of rats with and without NO inhibition. IAP was increased to 20 mm Hg for 7 consecutive days by means of an intraperitoneally placed balloon filled with water. The animals were studied in normal conditions and after inhibition of NO synthesis. Changes in mean arterial pressure and renal microcirculation by means of femoral artery catheterization and laser-Doppler technique, respectively, were recorded. Venous samples for determination of plasma renin-aldosterone activity, biochemical parameters of liver and renal function, and plasma nitrite/nitrate levels as an index of NO synthesis were drawn. Cirrhotic rats showed decreased renal microcirculation (P = 0.05), while elevated IAP produced a further decrease (P = 0.01). Renin-aldosterone levels found increased (P = 0.001) in cirrhotics, and elevated IAP produced a further increase (P = 0.01] in both groups. Inhibition of NO synthesis resulted in a nonsignificant decrease in both renal microcirculation and renin-aldosterone levels in all experimental groups. Liver and renal function was found to be impaired in cirrhotics, but increased IAP had a nonsignificant further functional impairment in both organs. In conclusion, chronically elevated IAP in cirrhotic rats is associated with an increase in renin-aldosterone levels and significant impairment of renal perfusion.

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