Background/Aims: Autonomic and cardiac dysfunction have been reported in patients with cirrhosis, We studied left ventricular and autonomic function in 20 patients with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. Methods: Autonomic function was assessed by a standard battery of cardiovascular reflex tests, Supine exercise radionuclide ventriculography was used to assess the cardiac response to exercise. Results: Exercise capacity was reduced in all patients in association with marked chronotropic incompetence (peak heart rates 120.5±6 bpm), Unlike normal subjects there was no increase in left ventricular ejection fraction on exercise, Stroke volume increased by 23±6%, mediated by an increase in end-diastolic volume of >20%, Cardiac output was subnormal at maximal exercise, increasing by only 96±14% and 97±11% in alcoholic and non-alcoholic groups respectively, The majority (83%) of our patients had autonomic reflex abnormalities. Conclusions: Patients with cirrhosis of alcohol and non-alcohol related aetiologies have significantly impaired cardiovascular responses to exercise, which are similar to those of a denervated heart, This may have important clinical implications for the ability of these patients to withstand cardiovascular stress.
Grose, R. D., Nolan, J., Dillon, J. F., Errington, M., Hannan, W. J., Bouchier, I. A. D., & Hayes, P. C. (1995). Exercise-induced left ventricular dysfunction in alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. Journal of Hepatology, 22(3), 326-332. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-8278(95)80286-X