Pulmonary Manifestations of Liver Disease

Rajan Kochar, Michael B. Fallon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Pulmonary vascular complications of liver disease comprise two distinct clinical entities, hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS: microvascular dilatation and angiogenesis) and portopulmonary hypertension (POPH: vasoconstriction and remodeling in resistance vessels). These complications occur in similar pathophysiologic environments and may share pathogenic mechanisms. HPS is found in 15-30% of patients with cirrhosis and its presence increases mortality and the risks of liver transplantation, particularly when hypoxemia is present. No medical therapies are available, although liver transplantation is effective in reversing the syndrome. There are no reliable clinical predictors for HPS and no established screening guidelines. However, pulse oximetry-based screening protocols are useful for identifying hypoxemic patients and targeting subsequent evaluation for HPS. POPH is found in 4-8% of patients undergoing liver transplantation evaluation and the presence of moderate to severe disease significantly increases perioperative transplant mortality. Transthoracic echocardiography is recommended for screening and right heart catheterization is required to establish the diagnosis. Medical therapies are increasingly effective in improving pulmonary vascular hemodynamics in POPH and may result in better perioperative outcomes. However, whether liver transplantation itself will consistently improve or reverse underlying POPH remains undefined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSchiff's Diseases of the Liver
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0470654686, 9780470654682
StatePublished - Oct 31 2011


  • Contrast echocardiography
  • Hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • Intrapulmonary shunting
  • Intrapulmonary vasodilatation
  • Liver transplantation
  • Portopulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary vascular complications of liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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