Distinctive clinical features of portopulmonary hypertension

Paul C. Kuo, Jeffrey S. Plotkin, Lynt B. Johnson, Charles D. Howell, Jacqueline M. Laurin, Stephen T. Bartlett, Lewis J. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objective: To differentiate the cardiopulmonary profile of portopulmonary hypertension (PPHTN) from that of primary pulmonary hypertension and chronic liver disease. Design: Retrospective survey. Setting: Tertiary care center. Patients: Thirty patients with cardiac catheterization-proven PPHTN were compared to 30 randomly selected patients with primary pulmonary hypertension alone and 30 patients with chronic liver disease alone necessitating consideration of liver transplantation (L-CONT). Interventions: All patients underwent right heart catheterization, echocardiography, ECG, chest radiography, pulmonary function tests, ventilation-perfusion scanning, and room air arterial blood gas measurements. Results: Patients with PPHTN exhibited elevated pulmonary pressures (mean pulmonary pressure, 48.6±2.1 mm Hg) and pulmonary vascular resistance (11.6±1.6 mm Hg/L/min/m2) with simultaneous elevation in the cardiac index (3.8±0.3 L/min/m2) and depression of systemic vascular resistance (24.9± 1.7 mm Hg/L/min/m2). Arterial blood gas measurements indicate that PPHTN exhibits a significant accentuation of the chronic respiratory alkalosis (PCO2, 28.7±0.5 mm Hg) usually seen with chronic liver disease and pulmonary hypertension. In addition, patients with PPHTN have an increased alveolar-arterial gradient (27.0±2.7 mm Hg) when compared to patients with L-CONT, suggesting impaired gas exchange. Conclusions: PPHTN is associated with a unique clinical profile that possesses characteristics common to and exclusive of liver disease and primary pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-986
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkalosis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Gas exchange
  • Liver
  • Liver transplantation
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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