Nitric oxide metabolites in decompensated liver cirrhosis

N. Barak, R. Zemel, Z. Ben-Ari, M. Braun, R. Tur-Kaspa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


High levels of nitric oxide are thought to be the cause of some of the complications associated with decompensated end-stage liver disease. To assess nitric oxide metabolism in cirrhotic patients, we measured the levels of nitric oxide metabolites (nitrosohemoglobin, methemoglobin, nitrate, and nitrite) in normal subjects, in patients with decompensated cirrhosis, in patients with renal failure (model for impaired NO metabolites excretion), and in patients with mononitrates-treated anginal syndrome (model for exogenous nitric oxide). When compared to controls, patients with decompensated cirrhosis exhibited elevated levels of nitrate only. A significant increase of nitrate was also noted in patients receiving exogenous nitrates, whereas patients with impaired excretion had significantly elevated levels of both nitrite and nitrate. In conclusion, nitric oxide metabolism in patients with decompensated cirrhosis is similar to that of patients receiving nitric oxide from an exogenous source. Renal impairment, whether alone or associated with cirrhosis, causes a change in nitric oxide metabolism. These findings may have clinical implications for nitrates treatment in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1341
Number of pages4
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cirrhosis
  • Nitrates
  • Nitric oxide
  • Renal failure


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