A useful diagnostic test is contrast echocardiography. Intravenous microbubbles (> 10 micrometers in diameter) from agitated normal saline that are normally obstructed by pulmonary capillaries (normally <8 to 15 micrometers) rapidly transit the lung and appear in the left atrium of the heart within 7 heart beats. Similarly, intravenous technetium-99m–labeled albumin may transit the lungs and appear in the kidney and brain. Pulmonary angiography may reveal diffusely fine or blotchy vascular configuration. The distinction has to be made with an intracardiac right-to-left shunt.
Prognosis is poor without treatment: the presence of hepatopulmonary syndrome worsens the prognosis, even if confounding factors such as the severity of the underlying disease (judged by the Child-Pugh score or Model for end-stage liver disease classification) are corrected.
Research on hepatopulmonary syndrome therapy published by scientists at University of Rochester, Department of Anesthesiology.
May 06, 2010; A new study, 'Respiratory failure and hypoxemia in the cirrhotic patient including hepatopulmonary syndrome,' is now available....
Studies from Tongji University, Institute of Digestive Diseases describe new findings in hepatopulmonary syndrome.
Sep 04, 2010; Current study results from the report, 'Progress in investigating the pathogenesis of hepatopulmonary syndrome,' have been...