Intestinal Microcirculation and Absorption in Portal Hypertension

  • Soichiro Miura
  • Masaharu Tsuchiya


The liver and the gastrointestinal tract are closely related anatomically as well as physiologically. For example, after dietary nutrients such as carbohydrate and protein are degradated in the intestinal luminal surface, these substances are transported into the portal vein and reach the liver. It is well known that maintenance of enterohepatic circulation of bile acids is important for normal bile acid metabolism and lipid absorption. There is also a close connection between intestinal and liver lymphatics, and this connection seems to be important in terms of ascites formation and immunological defence. In liver cirrhosis, various histological and functional changes in the gastrointestinal tract may occur and these changes could play an important role in the development of serious complications of portal hypertension, such as rupture of the esophagogastric varices, ascites retention, and hepatic failure. There are a number of published reports which deal with the morphological and functional changes in the gastrointestinal tract in portal hypertension. However their results are not always consistent. In this chapter, therefore, we will review the physiological aspects of changes of intestinal functions in portal hypertension, focusing on the intestinal hemo- and lymphomicrocirculation and intestinal absorption.


Bile Acid Liver Cirrhosis Portal Hypertension Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Cirrhotic Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soichiro Miura
  • Masaharu Tsuchiya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineKeio UniversityShinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160Japan

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