Autonomic function in cirrhosis assessed by cardiovascular reflex tests and 24-hour heart-rate-variability

J. F. Dillon, J. N. Plevris, J. Nolan, D. J. Ewing, J. M. M. Neilson, I. A. D. Bouchier, P. C. Hayes

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    Objectives: To assess the prevalence of autonomic dysfunction in cirrhosis and to observe the effect of disease severity on autonomic dysfunction. Methods: Seventy patients with cirrhosis (Child's class A, 42; Child's class B, 10; and Child's class C, 15) (45 alcoholic, 15 primary biliary cirrhosis, five chronic active hepatitis, and eight idiopathic) underwent standard cardiovascular reflex tests. In addition, in 40 patients, 24-h ECG RR variability tests were performed to detect autonomic dysfunction. Results: Forty-two of 70 (60%) patients had abnormalities of cardiovascular reflex function of varying severity, whereas 24 of 34 (70%) had 24-h RR counts with the 95% age-related tolerance. The prevalence of abnormality increased with increasing severity of Liver disease but not with different etiologies. Conclusion: Irrespective of etiology, there is a high prevalence of autonomic dysfunction in cirrhosis, and it is related to disease severity: the mechanism is unknown.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1544-1547
    Number of pages4
    JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

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