Splanchnic and systemic hemodynamics were measured in six normal dogs and in 18 dogs that had the bile ducts ligated for a period of 8 weeks. In the bile duct-ligated dogs, there was a decrease in arterial pressure (110 ± 4 mm Hg vs. normal 136 ± 6 mm Hg; p < 0.005) and peripheral vascular resistance (4.60 ± 0.38 vs. 6.28 ± 0.38 dynes-sec-cm−5; p < 0.02), and an increase in cardiac index (129 ± 7 vs. 98 ± 9 ml per min per kg; p < 0.05). The splanchnic hemodynamic characteristics in the bile duct-ligated dogs included an increase in portal venous pressure (13.3 ± 0.6 mm Hg vs. 6.7 ± 0.5 mm Hg; p < 001) and wedged hepatic venous pressure (14 ± 1.2 mm Hg), the development of extensive portal-systemic shunting (49 ± 10 vs. 0.03 ± 0.017c; p < 0.01), and a decrease in portal venous flow (194 ± 21 ml per min vs. 427 ± 21 ml per min; p < 0.001). This study demonstrated that chronic bile duct-ligated dogs develop sinusoidal portal hypertension with extensive portal-systemic shunting and a hyperdynamic systemic circulation. These findings closely resembled hemodynamic abnormalities observed in human cirrhosis and suggest that this model is useful in physiopathological and pharmacological studies of portal hypertension.
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