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Lancet. 1991 Mar 30;337(8744):776-8.

Hyperdynamic circulation in cirrhosis: a role for nitric oxide?

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Wellcome Research Laboratories, Langley Court, Beckenham, Kent, UK.


Hypotension, low systemic vascular resistance, and a reduced sensitivity to vasoconstrictors are features of cirrhosis. These cardiovascular changes might be the result of increased synthesis of a vasodilator. Nitric oxide (NO), a potent vasodilator, is synthesised in and released from peripheral blood-vessels in man. Studies in animals indicate that bacterial endotoxin and cytokines induce NO synthase expression in vessel walls, with sustained NO release and consequent hypotension. Endotoxaemia is a common feature of cirrhosis; persistent induction of NO synthase may account for the associated haemodynamic changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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