Pulmonary Complications of Portal Hypertension

Rodrigo Cartin-Ceba, Michael J. Krowka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The most common pulmonary complications of chronic liver disease are hepatic hydrothorax, hepatopulmonary syndrome, and portopulmonary hypertension. Hepatic hydrothorax is a transudative pleural effusion in a patient with cirrhosis and no evidence of underlying cardiopulmonary disease. Hepatic hydrothorax develops owing to the movement of ascitic fluid into the pleural space. Hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension are pathologically linked by the presence of portal hypertension; however, their pathophysiologic mechanisms are significantly different. Hepatopulmonary syndrome is characterized by low pulmonary vascular resistance secondary to intrapulmonary vascular dilatations and hypoxemia; portopulmonary hypertension features elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and constriction/obstruction within the pulmonary vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-711
Number of pages29
JournalClinics in liver disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatic hydrothorax
  • Hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • Liver transplant
  • Portal hypertension
  • Portopulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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