The effect of rectal ozone on the portal vein oxygenation and pharmacokinetics of propranolol in liver cirrhosis (a preliminary human study)

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Mar;71(3):411-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2010.03851.x.


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of rectal ozone on portal vein oxygenation and the pharmacokinetic changes of propranolol in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Methods: Fifteen patients with liver cirrhosis were included They were given a fixed oral dose of propranolol 80mg on the morning of day 1 after overnight fasting. Blood samples were collected at fixed time intervals for 24h. Patients were given 12 sessions of rectal ozone of 300ml of 40% ozone/oxygen mixture. On day 14 another oral dose of 80mg propranolol was given and blood samples were collected as on day 1. Plasma concentrations of propranolol were measured by HPLC. Portal vein oxygen tension and saturation were measured before and after rectal ozone.

Results: Plasma concentrations of propranolol were reduced after ozone therapy with pronounced decreases in the maximum plasma concentration and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve. The changes were consistent with a decrease in propranolol bioavailability. There was a decrease in the elimination half-life and mean residence time. Portal vein oxygenation significantly increased after rectal ozone.

Conclusions: The changes in the pharmacokinetics of propranolol probably reflect an increase in the rate and extent of its metabolism resulting from improved portal vein oxygenation attributable to the ozone therapy. The present work highlights that ozone can be an alternative medical measure to improve portal vein oxygenation in liver cirrhosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / drug therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / administration & dosage
  • Ozone / administration & dosage*
  • Portal Vein / drug effects*
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Ozone
  • Propranolol