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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Long-term sympathetic and hemodynamic responses to clonidine in patients with cirrhosis and ascites.

The aim of the present study was to examine the short- and long-term effects of the alpha 2-agonist clonidine on sympathetic overactivity, systemic, splanchnic, and renal circulation changes, and abnormal renal sodium excretion in cirrhotic patients with ascites. Of 17 patients, 8 received clonidine and 9 a placebo. Measurements were taken before and after either a single dose of clonidine (150 micrograms) and placebo or a 1-week treatment with clonidine (150 micrograms/day) and placebo. Clonidine but not placebo induced significant short- and long-term decreases in plasma norepinephrine concentrations in the pulmonary artery and the right renal vein. Acute clonidine administration induced a significant reduction in cardiac output, heart rate, arterial pressure, and hepatic venous pressure gradient but had no effect on renal hemodynamics. Long-term clonidine administration induced a significant decrease in the hepatic venous pressure gradient from 20.1 +/- 1.9 to 17.6 +/- 2.0 mm Hg (mean +/- SEM) but had no significant effects on systemic or renal hemodynamics or renal excretion of sodium. It is concluded that long-term clonidine administration in cirrhotic patients induced a sustained decrease in sympathetic nervous activity and portal pressure. In contrast, clonidine had no prolonged effect on systemic hemodynamics. In addition, short- and long-term clonidine administration did not modify renal hemodynamics or induce a natriuretic response in patients with ascites.[1]


  1. Long-term sympathetic and hemodynamic responses to clonidine in patients with cirrhosis and ascites. Roulot, D., Moreau, R., Gaudin, C., Bacq, Y., Braillon, A., Hadengue, A., Frohly, P., Lebrec, D. Gastroenterology (1992) [Pubmed]
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