Hepatosplanchnic circulation receives almost half of cardiac output and is essential to physiologic homeostasis. Liver cirrhosis is estimated to affect up to 1% of populations worldwide, including 1.5% to 3.3% of intensive care unit patients. Cirrhosis leads to hepatosplanchnic circulatory abnormalities and end-organ damage. Sepsis and cirrhosis result in similar circulatory changes and resultant multi-organ dysfunction. This review provides an overview of the hepatosplanchnic circulation in the healthy state and in cirrhosis, examines the signaling pathways that may play a role in the physiology of cirrhosis, discusses the physiology common to cirrhosis and sepsis, and reviews important issues in management.
- EMC COEUR-09