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

Plasma catecholamine concentrations are a reliable index of sympathetic vascular tone in patients with cirrhosis.

In patients with cirrhosis, the significance of elevated plasma catecholamine concentrations is unclear. Thus we investigated the relationship between plasma catecholamine concentrations and the hemodynamic effect of pindolol (an index of sympathetic vascular tone) in 10 patients with cirrhosis. Systemic and splanchnic hemodynamics and plasma catecholamine concentrations in the pulmonary artery and the splanchnic veins (hepatic and azygos veins) were studied before and after the oral administration of pindolol (20 mg). In basal conditions patients exhibited a hyperkinetic circulatory syndrome and elevated plasma catecholamine concentrations. Alterations in basal hemodynamics were correlated with plasma epinephrine concentrations but not with norepinephrine. Pindolol administration significantly decreased heart rate and increased right atrial pressure. After pindolol administration, individual hemodynamic changes (cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance, wedged hepatic venous pressure) were significantly correlated with plasma catecholamine concentrations. In conclusion, this study shows that in cirrhotic patients epinephrine may play a role in hemodynamic alterations, and plasma catecholamine concentrations are an index of sympathetic vascular tone.[1]


  1. Plasma catecholamine concentrations are a reliable index of sympathetic vascular tone in patients with cirrhosis. Braillon, A., Gaudin, C., Poo, J.L., Moreau, R., Debaene, B., Lebrec, D. Hepatology (1992) [Pubmed]
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