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World J Gastroenterol. 2015 May 28;21(20):6117-26. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i20.6117.

Contemporary concepts of the medical therapy of portal hypertension under liver cirrhosis.

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Dmitry Victorovich Garbuzenko, Department of Faculty Surgery, South Ural State Medical University, 454092 Chelyabinsk, Russia.


Severe complications of liver cirrhosis are mostly related to portal hypertension. At the base of the pathogenesis of portal hypertension is the increase in hepatic vascular resistance to portal blood flow with subsequent development of hyperdynamic circulation, which, despite of the formation of collateral circulation, promotes progression of portal hypertension. An important role in its pathogenesis is played by the rearrangement of vascular bed and angiogenesis. As a result, strategic directions of the therapy of portal hypertension under liver cirrhosis include selectively decreasing hepatic vascular resistance with preserving or increasing portal blood flow, and correcting hyperdynamic circulation and pathological angiogenesis, while striving to reduce the hepatic venous pressure gradient to less than 12 mmHg or 20% of the baseline. Over the last years, substantial progress in understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of hemodynamic disorders under liver cirrhosis has resulted in the development of new drugs for their correction. Although the majority of them have so far been investigated only in animal experiments, as well as at the molecular and cellular level, it might be expected that the introduction of the new methods in clinical practice will increase the efficacy of the conservative approach to the prophylaxis and treatment of portal hypertension complications. The purpose of the review is to describe the known methods of portal hypertension pharmacotherapy and discuss the drugs that may affect the basic pathogenetic mechanisms of its development.


Liver cirrhosis; Medical therapy; Pathogenesis; Portal hypertension

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