Data on the consequences of cirrhosis regression on portal hypertension and on splanchnic and systemic hemodynamic are scarce. Previous studies have reported a decrease in hepatic venous pressure gradient following antiviral treatment in patients with hepatitis B or C related cirrhosis. However, these studies did not investigate splanchnic and systemic hemodynamic changes associated with virus control. To fill this gap in knowledge, in a recent issue of Clinical Science, Hsu et al. (vol. 132, issue 6, 669-683) used rat models of cirrhosis induced by thioacetamide and by bile duct ligation and provided a comprehensive analysis of the effects of cirrhosis regression on splanchnic and systemic hemodynamics. They observed a significant reduction in portal pressure accompanied by a normalization of systemic hemodynamic (normal cardiac index and systemic vascular resistance) and a decrease in intrahepatic vascular resistance. No change in extrahepatic vascular structures were observed despite normalization of collateral shunting, meaning that portosystemic collaterals persist but are not perfused. One intriguing part of their results is the only marginal effect of cirrhosis regression on liver hyperarterialisation. This result suggests that changes in splanchnic hemodynamic features induced by cirrhosis remain when hepatic vascular resistance decreases, raising the hypothesis of an autonomous mechanism persisting despite regression of intrahepatic vascular resistance. Microbiota changes and bacterial translocation might account for this effect. In conclusion cirrhosis regression normalizes systemic hemodynamics, but some splanchnic hemodynamic changes persist including extrahepatic angiogenesis and liver hyperarterialization.

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