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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jul;20(7):1115-20.

Brain natriuretic peptide and severity of disease in non-alcoholic cirrhotic patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Inonu University, Turgut Ozal Medical Center, Malatya, Turkey.



Cirrhotic patients have a hyperdynamic systemic circulation. They have insidious cardiac problems besides well-known complications. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) relaxes vascular smooth muscle and has a portal hypotensive action. The relations between BNP levels and severity of disease, cardiac dysfunction and esophageal varices were studied in non-alcoholic cirrhotic patients.


Fifty-two non-alcoholic cirrhotic patients were evaluated for decompensation component of cirrhosis. The BNP concentration of echocardiographically examined patients was determined.


The BNP levels were significantly higher in ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatic encephalopathy history group (P = 0.033, P < 0.001, P = 0.014, respectively), but no significant difference were observed for presence of esophageal varices and bleeding history (P = 0.267, P = 0.429). A significant correlation was observed between BNP concentration and Child score (r = 0.427, P = 0.012), interventricular septal thickness (r = 0.497, P < 0.001) and left ventricular posterior wall thickness (r = 0.526, P < 0.001). According to Child-Pugh classification there were no significant difference between groups for echocardiographic measurements and blood pressure (P > 0.05), but plasma BNP levels were significantly higher in Child class B and C patients compared with class A patients (P < 0.05).


Increased levels of BNP are more likely related to the severity of disease in non-alcoholic cirrhotic patients. The advanced cirrhosis is associated with more advanced cardiac dysfunction and BNP has prognostic value in progression of cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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