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Liver. 1996 Oct;16(5):309-12.

Systemic and splanchnic hemodynamic changes in patients with hepatic schistosomiasis.

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Laboratoire d'Hémodynamique Splanchnique, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.


Although hepatic schistosomiasis is a common cause of portal hypertension, only a few hemodynamic studies, in humans, have been published on this subject. The aim of this study was to determine the systemic and splanchnic hemodynamic changes in hepatic schistosomiasis and to evaluate the influence of liver fibrosis on these changes. A retrospective analysis of a series of 13 patients with hepatic schistosomiasis who had undergone hemodynamic studies was performed. Portal or perisinusoidal fibrosis was present at liver biopsy in 8 patients. The control group included 22 patients with chronic hepatitis and normal hepatic venous pressure gradients. Patients with schistosomiasis exhibited high cardiac index (4.11 +/- 1.15 l.min-1.m-2 vs 2.99 +/- 0.85 l.min-1.m-2; p < 0.05) and low systemic vascular resistance (1039 +/- 316 vs 1334 +/- 336; p < 0.05). The hepatic venous pressure gradient and hepatic blood flow were normal. Azygos blood flow was markedly increased (0.90 +/- 0.66 l.min-1 vs 0.13 +/- 0.04 l.min-1; p < 0.05). Hemodynamic values were not significantly different between patients with liver fibrosis and those without fibrosis at liver biopsy. In conclusion, patients with hepatic schistosomiasis had a hyperkinetic systemic and splanchnic circulation. In patients with esophageal varices, a normal hepatic venous pressure gradient confirmed presinusoidal portal hypertension. The presence of portal or perisinuoidal fibrosis did not influence hyperdynamic splanchnic state.

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