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Autonomic dysfunction in chronic liver disease


Professor Julia L. Newton, Professor of Ageing and Medicine, Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing – Liver theme, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE2 4HH, UK
Tel: +0191 2 824 128
Fax: +0191 2 825 370


Autonomic dysfunction (AD) is common in chronic liver disease (CLD) of all aetiologies and even more so in those awaiting transplantation. As yet, the pathophysiology is not completely understood but the clinical effects are dramatic for the patient, who has a heavy symptomatic burden. There are several considerations, specific to liver disease, which complicate AD. Outlined here is a practical guide for clinicians detailing the common presentations and consequences of AD, investigation techniques and treatment options. As morbidity and mortality is increased in CLD patients with AD its recognition, investigation and management is important to all who encounter such patients.