Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy

Ki Tae Yoon, Hongqun Liu, Samuel S Lee
Current Gastroenterology Reports 2020 July 10, 22 (9): 45

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy is a syndrome of depressed cardiac function in patients with cirrhosis. We aimed to review the historical background, pathophysiology and pathogenesis, diagnostic definitions, clinical relevance, and management of this syndrome.

RECENT FINDINGS: An inflammatory phenotype underlies the pathogenesis: gut bacterial translocation with endotoxemia stimulates cytokines and cardiodepressant factors, such as nitric oxide and endocannabinoids. Cardiomyocyte plasma membrane biochemical and biophysical changes also play a pathogenic role. These factors lead to impaired beta-adrenergic function. Proposed new echocardiographic criteria for the diagnosis of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy include systolic global longitudinal strain and indices of diastolic dysfunction. Cardiac dysfunction participates in the pathogenesis of hepatorenal syndrome and increased morbidity/mortality of cirrhotic patients to hemorrhage, infection, and surgery, including liver transplantation. There is no specific treatment, although β-adrenergic blockade and supportive management have been proposed, but it needs further study. Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy is a clinically relevant syndrome afflicting patients with established cirrhosis. Optimum management remains unclear, and further study is needed in this area.

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