A comparison of Doppler flowmetry with conventional assessment of acute changes in hepatic blood flow

Peter R. Gibson, Robert N. Gibson, John D. Donlan, Penelope A. Jones, John C. Colman, Francis J. Dudley

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The validity and clinical relevance of Doppler flowmetry in measuring changes in regional blood flow are uncertain. In the present study we compared changes induced by ketanserin in regional splanchnic blood flow as measured by Doppler flowmetry with changes in conventionally measured systemic and in hepatic haemodynamic indices estimated pharmacokinetically using indocyanine green. Fourteen patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and portal hypertension were evaluated. On multivariate analyses, significant associations were noted for only three indices: changes in estimated hepatic blood flow were predicted jointly by changes in flow in the main and right portal veins and hepatic artery (R2 = 0.80); changes in intrahepatic shunting (indocyanine green extraction) were predicted by changes in flow in the main and right portal veins (R2 = 0.55); and changes in sinusoidal perfusion (indocyanine green clearance) were significantly predicted by changes in main portal vein flow alone (R2 = 0.76). These data support the validity of Doppler flowmetry in quantifying change in regional blood flow, but highlight the limitations in its clinical application and interpretation. The association of changes in main portal vein flow with changes in sinusoidal perfusion has clinical potential but requires confirmation using other modulating drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cirrhosis
  • Doppler
  • Drug therapy
  • Indocyanine green
  • Portal hypertension
  • Serotonin antagonist
  • Ultrasound

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