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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Aug 20;167(4):1101-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.09.089. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

New insights into cirrhotic cardiomyopathy.

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Centre of Functional Imaging and Research, Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, 239 Denmark.


Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy designates a cardiac dysfunction, which includes reduced cardiac contractility with systolic and diastolic dysfunction, and presence of electrophysiological abnormalities in particular prolongation of the QT interval. Several pathophysiological mechanisms including reduced beta-receptor function seem involved in the autonomic and cardiac dysfunction. Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy can be revealed by tissue Doppler imaging but is best demasked by physical or pharmacological stress. Liver transplantation may revert cardiac dysfunction but surgery and shunt insertion may also aggravate the condition. Moreover, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy may contribute to heart failure after invasive procedures and to development of hepatic nephropathy as part of a cardiorenal syndrome. Whether beta-blockers have a deleterious effect in this clinical situation remains to be settled.


Cirrhosis; Diastolic dysfunction; Hyperdynamic circulation; Portal hypertension; Prolonged QT interval; Systolic dysfunction

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