Endothelin 1 and transforming growth factor-β1 correlate with liver function and portal pressure in cirrhotic patients

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Abstract

Objective:

The invasive measurement of hepatic venous pressure gradient is the recommended method for the assessment of portal hypertension. We assessed if the mediators that regulate portal hypertension may be used as noninvasive markers of portal hypertension and liver insufficiency.

Materials and methods:

We explored in prospective, observational study the concentration of endothelin-1, nitric oxide, and transforming growth factor-β1/2 in peripheral and hepatic venous blood; their relationship with the values of portal hypertension and liver insufficiency; and their level changes 4–6 months after non-selective beta-blocker therapy in cirrhotic patients with non-bleeding esophageal varices.

Results:

(1) Cirrhotics have significantly increased peripheral endothelin 1 and decreased transforming growth factor-β1 levels; (2) peripheral levels of all factors correlated significantly with their hepatic levels; (3) after therapy, peripheral endothelin-1 levels significantly increased, but transforming growth factor-β2 levels decreased and were lower in patients with pressure gradient value normalization; (4) before and after therapy, peripheral and hepatic endothelin-1, transforming growth factor-β1/2 levels correlated significantly with liver failure indicators (laboratory parameters, Child-Pough and MELD scores) and pressure gradient values.

Conclusions:

Peripheral endothelin-1 and transforming growth factor-β1 levels, which strongly correlate with their hepatic levels, reflect the stage of portal hypertension and liver insufficiency in cirrhosis.

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