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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Online ISSN 1827-1898
Ghittoni G. 1, Valentini G. 1, Spada C. 1, Rossi Z. 2, Gasbarrini G. 1
1 Institute of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy
2 Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Endocrine, Metabolic and Digestive Diseases, Regina Apostolorum Hospital, Albano, Rome, Italy
The majority of cirrhotic patients present dyspnea, but most of the time this is a consequence of ascites, hepatic hydrothorax or cardiopulmonary disease. Very few of these patients undergo the hepatopulmonary syndrome, an infrequent complication of chronic liver disease, especially when associated with portal hypertension and cirrhosis. Hepatopulmonary syndrome is characterised by dyspnea and, consequently, arterial hypoxemia, due to intrapulmonary vasodilation and shunting. The real pathogenesis of this vasodilation is still unknown, although many hypotheses have been suggested. Furthermore, no medical therapy appears to be really useful in the treatment of hepatopulmonary syndrome. At the present time, the only treatment that is efficacious for the resolution, or for the improvement of blood gas oxygenation abnormalities, is orthotopic liver transplantation.