We performed a pilot study to evaluate whether portal flow volume (PFV) changed in subjects with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with respect to control patients after infusion of iloprost, a prostacyclin analog. Six subjects with chronic HCV infection and arteriopathy of the lower limbs (CHCVIA) and 4 control patients affected only by HCV infection (CHCV) were studied with color Doppler sonography. CHCVIA patients were examined before and after 3 days of iloprost infusion, and CHCV patients were examined before and after 3 days with no treatment. In each patient, PFV was obtained after calculating portal flow velocity (PV), portal diameter, and portal vein cross-sectional area. The mean difference between basal and final values of the PFV of CHCVIA patients was significant (p = 0.03), as was the difference in the PFV (final values expressed as percent of basal values) in CHCVIA patients compared with those obtained in the CHCV patients (p = 0.01). We have observed significant improvement in hepatic perfusion in CHCVIA patients compared with CHCV patients after iloprost infusion. In light of these results, we suggest some possible therapeutic implications in patients with HCV infection. Further studies are necessary to confirm this hypothesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology