Hepatopulmonary syndrome: prevalence and predictive value of various cut offs for arterial oxygenationand their clinical consequences

Schenk, P.; Fuhrmann, V.; Madl, C.; Funk, G.; Lehr, S.; Kandel, O.; Müller, C.
December 2002
Gut;Dec2002, Vol. 51 Issue 6, p853
Academic Journal
Background: The hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is defined as the triad of liver disease, arterial deoxygenation, and pulmonary vascular dilatation. The reported prevalence of HPS in cirrhotic patients varies between 4% and 19%, and various threshold values defining arterial deoxygenation have been used and recommended previously. However, it is not known how the prevalence of HPS differs using different cut off values for arterial deoxygenation. Methods: We studied 127 patients for the presence of HPS using transthoracic contrast echocardiography for detection of pulmonary vasodilation, pulmonary function tests, and blood gas analysis. Results: Ninety eight patients were included in the study, of whom 33 (34%) had a positive contrast echocardiography. Using an increased alveolar-arterial difference for the partial pressure of oxygen (AaDO[sub 2]) as an indication of hypoxaemia, the prevalence of HPS was considerably higher (>15 mm Hg, 32%; >20 mm Hg, 31%; and >age related threshold, 28%) than using reduced partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO[sub 2]) as a threshold (<80 mm Hg, 19%; <70 mm Hg, 15%; and


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