Aim. Chronic liver disease (CLD) may be accompanied by portal hypertension (PHT). Nitric oxide (NO) system disturbances seem to play a key role in the pathogenesis of CLD and PHT. In this study we aim to assess if in chronic active hepatitis (CAH) and cirrhosis (CIR), CLD severity and etiology can be correlated with the serum level of NO metabolites.

Method. The study was performed on 92 patients divided according to the diagnosis and Child-Pugh class, and a control group of 10 healthy volunteers. Serum nitrite/nitrate and citrulline levels were measured in order to evaluate NO synthesis.

Results and conclusion. In CLD patients there was an increased NO production. In CIR NO synthesis increased more than in CAH. In CIR patients only nitrite/nitrate concentrations were correlated with citrulline levels. NO metabolites from CAH and CIR patients varied according to disease etiology, namely NO synthesis was more important in HCV-CLD than in alcoholic-CLD and HBV-CLD. In CIR patients, NO metabolites level increased with disease severity.



Chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis, nitric oxide, portal hypertension, viral etiology, alcoholic