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J Pediatr. 1985 Feb;106(2):317-21.

Propranolol therapy for portal hypertension in children.


Administration of propranolol to 13 children with portal hypertension reduced splenic pulp pressure by greater than 50 mm H2O (P less than 0.01) in approximately 2 weeks, when the pulse rate became three fourths the initial rate. The influence was found to be greater in compensated than in decompensated portal hypertension. This observation might be interpreted to mean that the effect of propranolol in the reduction of portal venous pressure results not only from decreased intestinal blood flow secondary to decreased cardiac output but also to the stimulation of sympathetic nervous system alpha-adrenoreceptors of the portal tract. Although arterial blood pressure changes were not significant, peripheral venous pressure was reduced significantly (P less than 0.01). We conclude that propranolol has considerable usefulness in treating portal hypertension in children.

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