Early effects of total paracentesis and albumin infusion on muscle sympathetic nerve activity in cirrhotic patients with tense ascites

Massimo Pozzi, Guido Grassi, Valeria Pecci, Carlo Turri, Giuseppe Boari, Giovanni Battista Bolla, Raffaella Dell'Oro, Sara Massironi, Luigi Roffi, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background/Aims: Cirrhotic patients with ascites are characterized by a marked activation of the sympathetic and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Total paracentesis is associated with a short-lived suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Little information exists as to whether this favourable effect is parallelled by sympathoinhibition. Methods: In 16 Child C cirrhotic patients (age: 57.1±6.2 years, mean±SEM) with tense ascites we assessed the time course of the effects of total paracentesis followed by intravenous albumin (6-8 g/l of ascites) on beat-to-beat mean arterial pressure (Finapres), heart rate, plasma norepinephrine, epinephrine (high performance liquid chromatography) and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (microneurography, peroheal nerve). Measurements were obtained under baseline conditions, during staged removal of ascitic fluid (250 ml/min) and 24 h later. The patient remained supine throughout the study period. Results: Total paracentesis (10.6±1.3 l) induced a decrease in mean arterial pressure (from 95.0±2.6 mmHg to 88.2±3.2 mmHg, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999



  • Arterial baroreflexes
  • Catecholamines
  • Renin angiotensin aldosterone system
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Total paracentesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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