Effects of systemic prostaglandin E1 on splanchnic and peripheral haemodynamics in control subjects and in patients with cirrhosis.
ABSTRACT Prostaglandins of the E series showed metabolic and clinical effects in patients with liver disease; changes in splanchnic haemodynamics might be involved. Blood flow in femoral and mesenteric artery and in the portal vein was measured by echo-Doppler in 10 controls and 14 cirrhotic patients, in response to the systemic infusion of a PGE1 analogue (30 micrograms/h for 2-6 h) or saline, performed in random order. Intraparenchymal resistive and pulsatility indices in the liver, spleen and kidney were also measured. In both groups PGE1 increased femoral artery flow by 40%, irrespective of infusion time. Heart rate increased slightly, whereas mean arterial pressure decreased. There were no changes in mesenteric artery and portal vein flow, as well as in resistance indices. Saline infusion increased femoral artery flow by 4%. PGE1 infusion does not produces significant effects on Doppler-assessed splanchnic hemodynamics in controls and in cirrhotic patients, in spite of significant effects on peripheral circulation.