Background and aims: Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been associated with left atrial enlargement, but the presence of other markers of left and right diastolic and/or systolic cardiac dysfunction has not been clarified. We prospectively evaluated the possible associations between echocardiographical-Doppler findings and HPS.
Methods: Seventy-nine cirrhotic patients without endogenous heart or pulmonary disease were included. HPS was diagnosed by the presence of increased arterial–alveolar-difference and intrapulmonary right-to-left shunt at contrast-enhanced transthoracic echocardiography. Echocardiographical systolic and diastolic indices, tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) of mitral and tricuspid annular motion and M-mode echocardiography measurements were recorded.
Results: Hepatopulmonary syndrome was diagnosed in 12 (15.2%) patients. Patients with compared with those without HPS had significantly younger age, albumin levels and saturation of oxygen (SaO2) in an erect position, but higher left ventricular end diastolic diameter (LVEDD), ejection fraction, E-wave peak velocity of tricuspid valve, left atrial volume, TDI E wave (early diastolic period) at the right free wall/tricuspid annulus (cm/s) and TDI S wave (systolic) at the left lateral wall/mitral annulus (TDI Smv). In multivariate analysis, the presence of HPS was found to be independently associated with younger age (P=0.027), lower SaO2 in an erect position (P=0.023), higher LVEDD (P=0.019) and higher TDI Smv (P=0.026). LVEDD and TDI Smv offered good diagnostic accuracy for HPS diagnosis (AUROC/c-statistic: 0.724 and 0.736 respectively).
Conclusions: We confirmed that in patients with cirrhosis, the development of HPS is associated with higher cardiac output and hyperdynamic circulation. Left ventricle enlargement and higher systolic velocity in the mitral valve represent satisfactory indirect markers of HPS.