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J Hepatol. 1997 Nov;27(5):810-6.

Urinary endothelin-like immunoreactivity in patients with cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, University of Barcelona, Spain.



To investigate a possible relationship between the renal production of endothelin and the presence of renal dysfunction and activation of vasoactive systems in cirrhosis, the urinary excretion and the circulating plasma levels of immunoreactive endothelin (irET) and the plasma levels of vasoactive hormones were measured in 19 healthy subjects, 12 cirrhotic patients without ascites and 39 patients with ascites and different degrees of renal dysfunction.


The urinary excretion and the circulating levels of irET were assessed after 5 days on a 40 mEq sodium diet and off diuretics. Renal function parameters and the plasma levels of vasoactive hormones were also measured.


Patients with and without ascites had similar values of urinary irET as compared with healthy subjects (30+/-3, 31+/-3 and 29+/-2 ng/day, respectively, p>0.10). By contrast, patients with ascites had higher circulating levels of irET (15+/-1.2 pg/ml) than patients without ascites and healthy subjects (11+/-1.6 and 5+/-0.4 pg/ml, p<0.01). In patients with cirrhosis, no correlation was found between urinary irET and circulating irET. Moreover, urinary irET did not correlate with liver tests, serum and urine sodium, glomerular filtration rate or vasoactive substances. Patients with hepatorenal syndrome had similar urinary irET to patients with ascites without hepatorenal syndrome.


Urinary excretion of irET is not increased in cirrhotic patients with ascites and does not correlate with abnormalities in renal function.

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