1. Portal hypertension and hyperdynamic circulation have been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of portal hypertensive gastropathy. Administration of octreotide to portal hypertensive rats has been shown to reduce portal pressure and ameliorate hyperdynamic circulation.

2. This study investigated the effects of chronic administration of octreotide on systemic and portal haemodynamics and the development of portal hypertensive gastropathy in carbon tetrachloride-induced cirrhotic rats.

3. After 12 weeks of carbon tetrachloride induction, cirrhotic rats were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (5% dextrose in water) or octreotide (65 μg/kg in 5% dextrose in water) subcutaneously twice daily for 10 days. Haemodynamic studies with a thermodilution technique and gastric morphometric analyses were performed at 10 days after treatment.

4. In cirrhotic rats, octreotide treatment induced a significant increase in systemic vascular resistance (2.7 ± 0.2 versus 3.4 ± 0.2 mmHg/ml · min−1 · 100 g−1, P < 0.05) and decrease in portal pressure (12.5 ± 1.2 versus 9.9 · 0.5 mmHg, P < 0.05) compared with placebo-treated rats. In addition, octreotide treatment significantly reduced the mean cross-sectional area of gastric mucosal vessels (2290 ± 145 versus 1810 ± 101 μm2, P < 0.05).

5. This study shows that chronic octreotide treatment ameliorates the development of portal hypertensive gastropathy in cirrhotic rats. The effect of octreotide on portal hypertensive gastropathy may, at least partly, be due to the alleviation of portal hypertension and hyperdynamic circulation.

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