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Haemodynamic parameters predicting variceal haemorrhage and survival in alcoholic cirrhosis.

A J Stanley, I Robinson, E H Forrest, A L Jones, P C Hayes
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/91.1.19 19-25 First published online: 1 January 1998


The relationship between the various haemodynamic abnormalities observed in cirrhosis and their prognostic value remains unclear. We report haemodynamic measurements on 96 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (mean Childs-Pugh Score, CPS, 9.0 +/- 0.2, mean age 55.6 +/- 1.0 years) and assess their value in predicting variceal bleeding and death during a mean follow-up of 19.3 +/- 1.5 months. Baseline CPS correlated with hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) (p = 0.001), azygos blood flow (p < 0.05), cardiac index (p < 0.05), and inversely with mean arterial pressure (p < 0.01) and systemic vascular resistance index (p < 0.05). Renal blood flow was not related to any haemodynamic parameter or CPS. Thirty-eight patients died during follow-up, and 16 had a variceal bleed. Death (p = 0.001) and variceal bleeding (p < 0.05) were more likely in patients with HVPG > 16 mmHg than in those with HVPG < 16 mmHg, and variceal bleeding was more likely in patients with HVPG > 12 mmHg (vs. HVPG < 12 mmHg, p < 0.05). HVPG also predicted death and variceal haemorrhage on univariate and multivariate analyses. No other haemodynamic parameter predicted death or bleeding. In alcoholic cirrhosis, severity of liver disease is related to HVPG, collateral blood flow and degree of systemic circulatory abnormalities. HVPG is a useful predictor of survival and variceal bleeding in these patients.