Abstract

Hyperdynamic circulation, systolic and diastolic left ventricular dysfunction and certain electrophysiological abnormalities have been associated with cirrhosis and known for a long time. These clinical features have been introduced as cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (CCM), which is characterized by blunted myocardial contractile responsiveness to physical, physiological and pharmacological stress. Importantly, cardiac dysfunction can be reversible and can improve due to effective medical treatment and also after liver transplantation. Echocardiography and electrocardiography are essential tools for recognizing the characteristic changes in the myocardial function and also the alterations in the electrophysiological properties of the heart. Laboratory markers are auxiliary modalities further aiding the establishment of the correct diagnosis. In this review, we aimed to collect the pathophysiological background and clinical characteristics of CCM with the intention of summarizing the current possibilities for the diagnosis establishment and treatment of this cardio-hepatic disorder.

Abbreviations: A: late diastolic transmitral peak flow velocity; ACE: angiotensin converting enzyme; ANP: atrial natriuretic peptide; ARB: angiotensin receptor blocker; BNP: brain natriuretic peptide; cAMP: cyclic adenosine monophosphate; CCM: cirrhotic cardiomyopathy; CGRP: calcitonin gene-related peptide; CO: carbon monoxide; DD: diastolic dysfunction; DT: deceleration time; E: early diastolic transmitral peak flow velocity; Ea: early diastolic velocity of the septal mitral annulus; EF: ejection fraction; MUGA: Multi Gated Acquisition Scan; NO: nitric oxide; NSBB: non-selective beta-blocker; pro-BNP: pro-brain natriuretic peptide; QTc: corrected QT interval; RAAS: renin-angiotensin aldosterone system; RALES: Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study; suPAR: urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor; TDI: Tissue Doppler Imaging; TIPS: transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt; TNF-alpha: tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

Keywords

liver cirrhosis, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, arrhythmias