Hepatopulmonary syndrome is associated with the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with decompensated cirrhosis

Authors Stergios Soulaidopoulos, Ioannis Goulis, George Giannakoulas, Theodoros Panagiotidis, Petros Doumtsis, Areti Karasmani, Theodora Oikonomou, Theodora Tzoumari, Haralampos Karvounis, Evagelos Cholongitas.


Background Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a relatively common complication in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of HPS, its clinical impact, and the possible association between HPS and characteristics of patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Methods Patients with stable decompensated cirrhosis admitted to our department and assessed for HPS were included. For each patient, several clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic parameters as well as renal function were recorded. The severity of liver disease was evaluated according to the Model for End-stage Liver Disease and Child-Pugh scores, and renal function was assessed using 51chromium complexed with ethylene diamine tetracetic acid. In addition, the short synacthen test was performed in each patient to evaluate the adrenal function.

Results Sixty-three patients were enrolled, 26 (41.3%) of whom diagnosed with HPS. In multivariate analysis, the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma [odds ratio (OR) 8.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.3-27.9, P=0.045] and salivary cortisol at T60 (60 min after the intravenous injection of 250 μg corticotropin) (OR 0.88, 95%CI 0.71-0.98, P=0.045) were the factors independently associated with HPS. T60 salivary cortisol had relatively good discriminative ability for the presence of HPS (area under the curve=0.73). The presence of HPS was not associated with the outcome (P=0.22).

Conclusion In our cohort of patients with decompensated cirrhosis, the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma and T60 salivary cortisol were the only factors independently associated with HPS.

Keywords Cirrhosis, hepatopulmonary syndrome, hepatocellular carcinoma, salivary cortisol, adrenal dysfunction

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (2): 225-231

Original Articles