Animal Models of Portal Hypertension

  • Didier Lebrec


Experimental studies in portal hypertension have markedly increased in number in the past 10 years. The causes of this increase are related to new theories concerning splanchnic hemodynamic alterations due to portal hypertension. Recent pharmacologic treatment of portal hypertension and new methods for measuring splanchnic organ blood flow have also contributed to the development of this area. Moreover, it is clear that animal models of portal hypertension give more information on hemodynamic changes than studies in portal hypertensive patients, since at this time, it is impossible to measure splanchnic organ blood flows in these patients. Most studies have been performed in vivo, although in vitro models, such as perfused liver or isolated vessels, have been used to evaluate intrahepatic portal resistance [1] or vascular reactivity, respectively. Splanchnic circulation differs from one species to another. Baboons and rats seem to be the most appropriate species for experimentation since their splanchnic circulation is very similar to humans. Dogs have been widely used for hemodynamic studies but have many anatomic differences from man. In this chapter, the main animal models used to study portal hypertension are described, and the hemodynamic methods and consequences of portal hypertension in these models are reported.


Portal Vein Portal Hypertension Esophageal Varix Hepatic Blood Flow Portal Pressure 
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© Springer Japan 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Didier Lebrec
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Hémodynamique Splanchnique, Unité de Recherches de Physiopathologie Hépatique, INSERM U24 et Service d’HépatologieHôpital BeaujonClichyFrance

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