[Hepatorenal syndrome]

G Huschak, U X Kaisers, S Laudi
Der Anaesthesist 2013, 62 (7): 571-82
Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a unique form of acute renal failure occurring in patients with advanced cirrhosis or acute liver failure. In patients with ascites the incidence of HRS is 8 % and in end-stage liver disease 75 % of patients suffer from HRS. Vasodilation of splanchnic arteries with subsequent decrease of effective blood volume, arterial pressure and renal vasoconstriction is hypothesized to be the central pathophysiological mechanism leading to acute renal failure. Moreover, cardiac output might be decreased in advanced cirrhosis. There are two types of HRS: while HRS type 1 is characterized by a rapid progression to acute renal failure often triggered by a precipitating event, e. g. bacterial peritonitis, which can rapidly develop into multiorgan failure, HRS type 2 shows a more steadily or slowly progressive course to renal failure with increasing ascites. Type 1 HRS has the worst prognosis. Treatment options include pharmacological treatment with vasoconstrictors and albumin and placement of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) but can only partially improve the survival rate. Liver transplantation is the ultimate and only definitive treatment of patients with HRS.

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