Current management of the hepatorenal syndrome

James P O'beirne, Michael A Heneghan
Hepatology Research: the Official Journal of the Japan Society of Hepatology 2005, 32 (4): 243-9
Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a serious complication of advanced liver disease. Historically, the development of HRS was considered a pre-terminal event due to a lack of efficacious therapy. Although liver transplantation remains the optimum therapy for HRS, many patients may be unsuitable for liver grafting. In addition, organ shortage may necessitate the institution of alternative pharmacological therapies to bridge patients to transplantation or to maintain renal function. This article reviews the definitions of Types-1 and -2 HRS, and addresses strategies for the prevention of the syndrome. It will also discuss management approaches to the cirrhotic patient with renal failure, specifically, assessment of novel vasoconstrictor therapies, such as vasopressin analogues, alpha-adrenoreceptor agonists, and the use of transjugular intra-hepatic shunts either alone or in combination with other therapeutic agents.


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