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J Hepatol. 1993 Jan;17(1):102-7.

Effects of terlipressin on hemodynamics and oxygen content in conscious portal vein stenosed and cirrhotic rats receiving propranolol.

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Unité de Recherches de Physiopathologie Hépatique (INSERM U-24), Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.


Terlipressin is used in patients with variceal bleeding but its effects in patients receiving beta-adrenergic antagonists are unknown. In this study, the hemodynamic effects of terlipressin were evaluated in conscious portal hypertensive rats which had previously received a single dose of propranolol. Moreover, oxygen content and acid-base status were studied. In portal vein stenosed and cirrhotic rats, the addition of terlipressin (0.05 mg/kg) to propranolol (0.4 mg/kg) produced a decrease in portal pressure of 34% and 17%, respectively, and in portal tributary blood flow of 46% and 42%, respectively. In cirrhotic rats, however, the decrease in portal pressure was not significantly different when propranolol was combined with terlipressin than when propranolol was administered alone. Cardiac index also further decreased after terlipressin administration. In both groups of rats, these values were similar to those observed after terlipressin alone. In portal vein stenosed rats but not in cirrhotic rats, arterial pH was significantly lower following the combination of propranolol plus terlipressin than following saline, propranolol or terlipressin alone. In conclusion, terlipressin further reduces both portal pressure and cardiac index in rats with portal hypertension receiving beta-blockers. In portal vein stenosed rats but not in cirrhotic rats, the addition of terlipressin to propranolol induces acidemia. This study suggests that terlipressin might further reduce portal pressure in patients with portal hypertension treated with beta-blockers.

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