Blunted blood pressure response to exercise and isolated muscle metaboreflex activation in patients with cirrhosis.
Mira PAC, Falci MFA, Moreira JB, Guerrero RVD, Ribeiro TCDR, Barbosa KVBD, Pace FHL, Martinez DG, Laterza MC.
Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme. 2021; 46(3): 273-279

Abstract

We sought to test the hypothesis that the cardiovascular responses to isolated muscle metaboreflex activation would be blunted in patients with cirrhosis. Eleven patients with cirrhosis and 15 healthy controls were evaluated. Blood pressure (BP; oscillometric method), contralateral forearm blood flow (FBF; venous occlusion plethysmography), and heart rate (HR; electrocardiogram) were measured during baseline, isometric handgrip at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction followed by postexercise ischemia (PEI). Forearm vascular conductance (FVC) was calculated as follows: (FBF / mean BP) x 100. Changes in HR during handgrip were similar between groups but tended to be different during PEI (controls: Delta 0.5 +/- 1.1 bpm vs. cirrhotic patients: Delta 3.6 +/- 1.0 bpm, P = 0.057). Mean BP response to handgrip (controls: Delta 20.9 +/- 2.7 mm Hg vs. cirrhotic patients: Delta 10.6 +/- 1.5 mm Hg, P = 0.006) and PEI was attenuated in cirrhotic patients (controls: Delta 16.1 +/- 1.9 mm Hg vs. cirrhotic patients: Delta 7.2 +/- 1.4 mm Hg, P = 0.001). In contrast, FBF and FVC increased during handgrip and decreased during PEI similarly between groups. These results indicate that an abnormal muscle metaboreflex activation explained, at least partially, the blunted pressor response to exercise exhibited by cirrhotic patients. Novelty: Patients with cirrhosis present abnormal muscle metaboreflex activation. BP response was blunted but forearm vascular response was preserved. HR response was slightly elevated.



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