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April 1985

Propranolol for Portal Hypertension: Evaluation of Therapeutic Response by Direct Measurement of Portal Vein Pressure

Author Affiliations

From the Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, Calif, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(4):648-650. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360040066015

• Portal vein pressure was measured before and after a week of oral propranolol hydrochloride therapy in 27 patients with alcoholic liver disease. Mean net portal pressure fell (14.5 ± 3.3 to 12.5 ± 4.5 mm Hg), but there was wide variation in individual response to the drug. Simultaneous transhepatic portal vein pressure and wedged hepatic vein pressure were similar before and one hour after a single oral dose of 40 mg of propranolol hydrochloride in six additional patients. Arterial, portal, and hepatic vein oxygen content did not change significantly. Propranolol hydrochloride appears not to dissociate portal and wedged hepatic vein pressure or to impair liver oxygenation. Because of variability of response, the portal hypotensive effect of propranolol should be documented before beginning therapy with the drug.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:648-650)