The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

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LIVER FUNCTION TESTS ANOMALIES IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEART FAILURE

2014-03

Camelia C. Diaconu, Alice Bălăceanu, Daniela Bartoș

Chronic heart failure is a major public health problem, with increasing prevalence due to population aging and increased survival of cardiovascular patients. Chronic heart failure is a clinical syndrome characterized by a variety of effects on other organs and systems. Occasionally, patients with chronic heart failure may present with signs and symptoms of a noncardiac disorder, such as hepatic dysfunction. The main pathophysiologic mechanism involved in hepatic dysfunction of patients with heart failure is either passive congestion due to increased filling pressures or low cardiac output and the consequences of impaired perfusion. Passive hepatic congestion may lead to increase of liver enzymes and total bilirubin. Right ventricular dysfunction can be associated with severe hepatic congestion, which can be asymptomatic and revealed only by abnormal liver function tests. When hemodynamic abnormalities are prolonged, the hepatic function is further altered, with impaired coagulation tests and decreased albumin synthesis. Morphologically, the liver becomes fibrotic and ultimately cardiac cirrhosis appears. Decreased perfusion from low cardiac output may be associated with hepatocellular necrosis and increased serum aminotransferases. Acute cardiogenic liver injury appears in severe systemic hypotension due to exacerbation of heart failure; the level of aminotransferases increases, as well as lactic dehydrogenase and prothrombin time.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the frequency and the importance of liver function tests abnormalities in a group of patients with chronic heart failure, as well as the prognostic value of these liver tests.

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