Relation of sinusoidal stenoses following hepatocyte swelling to hepatic vascular resistance in experimental liver cirrhosis



ABSTRACT— To investigate the significance of sinusoidal stenoses and a decrease in the sinusoidal bed due to hepatic cell swelling as a factor increasing hepatic vascular resistance in liver cirrhosis, hepatic vascular resistance in choline-deficient diet-induced cirrhotic rats was measured by an isolated liver perfusion method. In the cirrhotic rats, the swollen hepatic cells resulting from accumulation of fat droplets narrowed the sinusoids and decreased the sinusoidal bed. Consequently, the hepatic vascular resistance was increased by 2.7 times normal (8.60 ± 2.32 mm H2Oml-1.min; controls, 3.13 ± 0.67 mm H2Oml-1.min), and portal hypertension was also recognized (188.1 ± 26.3 mm H2O; controls, 114.2 ± 12.8 mm H2O). In the cirrhotic rats fed with ordinary rat pellets for 2 months, however, the sinusoidal stenoses and the decreased sinusoidal bed recovered to nearly normal as a result of disappearance of the fat droplets in the hepatic cells. The increased hepatic vascular resistance was decreased to 1.5 times normal (4.68 ± 0.82 mm H2Oml-1.min), and the elevated portal vein pressure was reduced (141.5 ± 17.4 mm H2O). These findings clearly demonstrate that an important factor leading to an increase in hepatic vascular resistance is sinusoidal stenoses and a decrease in the sinusoidal bed resulting from swollen hepatic cells.