Hepatopulmonary syndrome

David I. Gaines, Michael B. Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The hepatopulmonary syndrom occurs when pulmonary microvacular dilatation causes hypoxemia in cirrhosis. It is found in between 15-20% of patients with chronic liver diseases and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of dyspnea or abnormal arterial oxygenation in this group. The presence of HPS appears to significantly increase mortality in affected patients with cirrhosis. The mediators of intrapulmonary vasodilatation and HPS are not fully characterized although pulmonary nitric oxide overproduction appears to be a key event in human and experimental models. Contrast echocardiography is the best screening test for pulmonary vasodilatation. Currently there are no effective medical therapies for HPS, although liver transplantation results in reversal of HPS in most cases. However, mortality is higher in patients with HPS undergoing transplantation relative to those without HPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-401
Number of pages5
JournalLiver International
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver transplantation
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Pulmonary vasodilatation
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hepatopulmonary syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this