Prevalence of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy according to different diagnostic criteria: alterations in ultrasonographic parameters of both left and right ventricles before and after stress

Authors Dimitrios S. Karagiannakis, Katerina Stefanaki, George Anastasiadis, Theodoros Voulgaris, Jiannis Vlachogiannakos.


Background We estimated the frequency of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (CCΜ) using all of the proposed diagnostic criteria, to describe the whole spectrum of cardiac alterations, and to investigate the role of stress in unmasking latent cases of CCΜ.

Methods Ninety consecutive patients were recruited. CCΜ was evaluated using the Montreal, the American Society of Echocardiography 2009 criteria, and the 2019 modified criteria of the CCM consortium. A dobutamine stress test was also performed.

Results Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) was identified in 72 (80%), 36 (40%), and 10 (11.1%) patients based on the above criteria, respectively. None of the patients had right ventricular systolic dysfunction, either at rest or after stress. The dobutamine stress test revealed left systolic dysfunction in 4 (4.5%) patients. There was agreement among the 3 criteria that the presence of LVDD was not associated with the severity of liver disease, using Child-Pugh stage. However, patients with Child-B/C had longer QTc intervals (P=0.004), higher levels of brain natriuretic peptide (P=0.016), and greater echocardiographic E/e’ ratio (P<0.001) and E/e’(s) (P=0.003), compared to Child-A patients, while a significant correlation was demonstrated between Child-Pugh score and E/e’ (P<0.001), or E/e’(s) (P=0.002).

Conclusions The prevalence of LVDD seems to be lower than previously considered. Right ventricular function seems to remain unimpaired. A dobutamine stress uncovered only a small percentage of patients with left systolic dysfunction. Nevertheless, the aggravation of several sonographic variables during stress, particularly in Child-B/C patients, potentially indicates a higher risk for clinical heart failure during stressful invasive  interventions.

Keywords Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, diastolic dysfunction, systolic dysfunction, dobutamine stress test, liver cirrhosis

Ann Gastroenterol 2023; 36 (5): 564-572

Original Articles