Aim: To evaluate the non-invasive assessments of volume status in patients with cirrhosis.
Methods: Echocardiography and multifrequency bioimpedance analysis measurements and short synacthen tests were made in 20 stable and 25 acutely decompensated patients with cirrhosis.
Results: Both groups had similar clinical assessments, cortisol response and total body water (TBW), however the ratio of extracellular water (ECW)/TBW was significantly greater in the trunk (0.420 ± 0.004 vs 0.404 ± 0.005), and limbs (R leg 0.41 ± 0.003 vs 0.398 ± 0.003, P < 0.05, and L leg 0.412 ± 0.003 vs 0.399 ± 0.003) with decompensated cirrhosis compared to stable cirrhotics, P < 0.05). Echocardiogram derived right atrial and ventricular filling and end diastolic pressures and presence of increased left ventricular end diastolic volume and diastolic dysfunction were similar in both groups. The decompensated group had lower systemic blood pressure, mean systolic 101.8 ± 4.3 vs 122.4 ± 5.3 and diastolic 58.4 ± 4.1 mmHg vs 68.8 ± 3.1 mmHg respectively, P < 0.01, and serum albumin 30 (27-33) vs 32 (31-40.5) g/L, P < 0.01.
Conclusion: Decompensated cirrhotics had greater leg and truncal ECW expansion with lower serum albumin levels consistent with intravascular volume depletion and increased vascular permeability.
Keywords: Ascites; Bioimpedance; Cirrhosis; Cortisol; Echocardiography; Extracellular water.