Haemodynamic effects of enalaprilat on portal hypertension in patients with HBsAg-positive cirrhosis

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. May-Jun 1995;10(3):256-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.1995.tb01090.x.


It has been suggested that enalaprilat inhibits the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in plasma and tissue; it may therefore reduce portal vascular pressure owing to secondary hyperaldosteronism in patients with liver cirrhosis. In order to evaluate this concept, 20 patients with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension received an intravenous infusion of 2.5 mg of enalaprilat. Wedged hepatic venous pressure, free hepatic venous pressure and cardiac index were measured before, immediately after, and then 15 min, 30 min and 1 h after intravenous enalaprilat infusion. The mean pressure gradient between wedged hepatic venous pressure and free hepatic venous pressure was significantly decreased, by 13% immediately after, 18% at 15 min, 23% at 30 min and 13% at 1 h after infusion of enalaprilat. Thirteen patients experienced a decrease of hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) greater than 5 mmHg, another three 3-5 mmHg and the remaining four patients exhibited no significant change in HVPG. Systemic haemodynamic indices, including pulmonary arterial pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and central venous pressure, decreased significantly at 15 and 30 min after enalaprilat infusion (P < 0.01). Liver function, renal function and blood routine before and after enalaprilat infusion showed no significant change. There were no adverse effects during or after enalaprilat infusion. We conclude that enalaprilat infusion can quickly and safely reduce the hepatic venous pressure gradient in patients with HBsAg-positive cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Enalaprilat / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Femoral Vein / physiology
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Hepatic Veins / physiology
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications
  • Hypertension, Portal / drug therapy*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portal Pressure
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Pressure


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Enalaprilat