Obesity-induced hepatic hypoperfusion primes for hepatic dysfunction after resuscitated hemorrhagic shock

Paul J Matheson, Ryan T Hurt, Glen A Franklin, Craig J McClain, R Neal Garrison
Surgery 2009, 146 (4): 739-47; discussion 747-8

BACKGROUND: Obese patients (BMI>35) after blunt trauma are at increased risk compared to non-obese for organ dysfunction, prolonged hospital stay, infection, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and mortality. Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) produce a low grade systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) with compromised hepatic blood flow, which increases with body mass index. We hypothesized that obesity further aggravates liver dysfunction by reduced hepatic perfusion following resuscitated hemorrhagic shock (HEM).

METHODS: Age-matched Zucker rats (Obese, 314-519 g & Lean, 211-280 g) were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n = 10-12/group): (1) Lean-Sham; (2) Lean, HEM, and resuscitation (HEM/RES); (3) Obese-Sham; and (4) Obese-HEM/RES. HEM was 40% of mean arterial pressure (MAP) for 60 min; RES was return of shed blood/5 min and 2 volumes of saline/25 min. Hepatic blood flow (HBF) using galactose clearance, liver enzymes and complete metabolic panel were measured over 4 h after completion of RES.

RESULTS: Obese rats had increased MAP, heart rate, and fasting blood glucose and BUN concentrations compared to lean controls, required less blood withdrawal (mL/g) to maintain 40% MAP, and RES did not restore BL MAP. Obese rats had decreased HBF at BL and during HEM/RES, which persisted 4 h post RES. ALT and BUN were increased compared to Lean-HEM/RES at 4 h post-RES.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that obesity significantly contributes to trauma outcomes through compromised vascular control or through fat-induced sinusoidal compression to impair hepatic blood flow after HEM/RES resulting in a greater hepatic injury. The pro-inflammatory state of NAFLD seen in obesity appears to prime the liver for hepatic ischemia after resuscitated hemorrhagic shock, perhaps intensified by insidious and ongoing hepatic hypoperfusion established prior to the traumatic injury or shock.

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