• Automonic dysfunction measured by baroreflex sensitivity is markedly abnormal in stable cirrhosis despite minimal systemic haemodynamic changes

      Rye, Kara; Mortimore, Gerri; Austin, Andrew; Freeman, Jan G.; University of Derby (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 2009)
      Baroreceptor sensitivity (BRS) is well recognised as a composite marker of the overall integrity of the autonomic nervous system, maintaining cardiovascular status both at rest and during physiological stress. Autonomic dysfunction occurs in 43–80% of cases of cirrhosis, affecting both sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. BRS impairment occurs independently of aetiology and correlates with disease severity and the hyperdynamic circulation. BRS has been studied extensively in advanced disease, especially pre-transplantation but less so in more compensated disease. Impaired BRS is associated with a 5-fold increase in mortality, independent of cirrhosis stage, yet can be improved by drugs and liver transplantation.