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Int J Med Sci 2007; 4(2):94-97. doi:10.7150/ijms.4.94

Research Paper

Alterations in Arterial Blood Parameters in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis and Ascites

Konstantinos Charalabopoulos1,2, Dimitrios Peschos3, Leonidas Zoganas4, George Bablekos4, Christos Golias1, Alexander Charalabopoulos1, Dimitrios Stagikas1, Angi Karakosta1, Athanasios Papathanasopoulos5, George Karachalios2, Anna Batistatou3

1. Department of Physiology, Clinical Unit, Medical Faculty, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.
2. Department of Medicine, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece.
3. Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.
4. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece.
5. Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology Unit, Medical Faculty, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.

Abstract

In cirrhotic patients, in addition to hepatocytes and Kuppfer cells dysfunction circulatory anatomic shunt and ventilation/perfusion (VA/ Q) ratio abnormalities can induce decrease in partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (PaO2), in oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (SaO2) as well as various acid-base disturbances. We studied 49 cases of liver cirrhosis (LC) with ascites compared to 50 normal controls. Causes were: posthepatic 37 (75.51%), alcoholic 7 (14.24%), cardiac 2 (4.08%), and cryptogenic 3 (6.12%). Complications were: upper gastrointestinal bleeding 24 (48.97), hepatic encephalopathy 20 (40.81%), gastritis 28 (57.14%), hepatoma 5 (10.2%), renal hepatic syndrome 2 (4.01%), HbsAg (+) 24 (48.97%), and hepatic pleural effusions 7 (14.28%). Average PaO2 and SaO2 were 75.2 mmHg and 94.5 mmHg, respectively, compared to 94.2 mmHg and 97.1 mmHg of the control group, respectively (p value in both PaO2 and SaO2 was p<0.01). Respiratory alkalosis, metabolic alkalosis, metabolic acidosis, respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis with respiratory alkalosis were acid-base disturbances observed. In conclusion, portopulmonary shunt, intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunt and VA/Q inequality can induce a decrease in PaO2 and SaO2 as well as various acid-base disturbances. As a result, pulmonary resistance is impaired and patients more likely succumb to infections and adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Keywords: liver cirrhosis, ascites, acid base disturbances, hepatopulmonary syndrome

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How to cite this article:
Charalabopoulos K, Peschos D, Zoganas L, Bablekos G, Golias C, Charalabopoulos A, Stagikas D, Karakosta A, Papathanasopoulos A, Karachalios G, Batistatou A. Alterations in Arterial Blood Parameters in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis and Ascites. Int J Med Sci 2007; 4(2):94-97. doi:10.7150/ijms.4.94. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v04p0094.htm