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Metabolism. 1990 Jan;39(1):18-24.

Hormonal and metabolic changes during exercise in cirrhotic patients.

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  • 1Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire Henri Mondor, Creteil, France.


The metabolic response to exercise was compared in 10 cirrhotic patients (P) in a stable clinical condition and in 6 sedentary, age-matched, normal subjects (C) performing 32 minutes of treadmill exercise with the same constant workload corresponding to three to four times their resting oxygen uptake. Taking indirect calorimetry as reference, respiratory exchanges indicated that cirrhotic patients consumed carbohydrates almost exclusively, unlike the normal controls, who consumed lipids and glucids in about the same proportions (RQ: 0.98 +/- 0.04 v 0.87 +/- 0.04, P less than .0001). In the patients, this carbohydrate path of exercise metabolism lowered glycemia from the resting value of 5.23 +/- 0.16 mmol/L to 4.03 +/- 0.37 mmol/L (P less than .0001) and raised the plasma lactate concentration from 2.08 +/- 0.24 mmol/L at rest to 3.48 +/- 0.32 mmol/L at the eighth minute of exercise (P less than .001), thus suggesting defective liver glyconeogenesis. Fatty free acids and glycerol remained almost constant during exercise, whereas catecholamines increased. Insulin levels were high in patients at rest (67.1 +/- 14.5 U/mL v 15.1 +/- 3.5 U/mL); they declined sharply at the onset of exercise but nevertheless remained high compared to those observed in the controls (P less than .0001). Glucagon increased in exercising patients from 88.3 +/- 21.3 pg/mL to 127.4 +/- 30.6 pg/mL (NS). Esterified plasma carnitine declined in the patients from 13.0 +/- 2.2 mumol/L to 8.6 +/- 1.5 mumol/L (P less than .05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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