Cardiopulmonary complications in chronic liver disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 28;12(4):526-38. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i4.526.


Patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension exhibit characteristic cardiovascular and pulmonary hemodynamic changes. A vasodilatatory state and a hyperdynamic circulation affecting the cardiac and pulmonary functions dominate the circulation. The recently defined cirrhotic cardiomyopathy may affect systolic and diastolic functions, and imply electromechanical abnormalities. In addition, the baroreceptor function and regulation of the circulatory homoeostasis is impaired. Pulmonary dysfunction involves diffusing abnormalities with the development of the hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension in some patients. Recent research has focused on the assertion that the hemodynamic and neurohumoral dysregulation are of major importance for the development of the cardiovascular and pulmonary complications in cirrhosis. This aspect is important to take into account in the management of these patients.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Blood Circulation
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Volume
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / physiopathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Pressoreceptors / physiology
  • Vasodilation


  • Nitric Oxide