DOI: 10.1111/apt.17653 ISSN: 0269-2813

Diabetes impairs the haemodynamic response to non‐selective betablockers in compensated cirrhosis and predisposes to hepatic decompensation

Rafael Paternostro, Mathias Jachs, Lukas Hartl, Benedikt Simbrunner, Bernhard Scheiner, David Bauer, Philipp Schwabl, Georg Semmler, Michael Trauner, Mattias Mandorfer, Thomas Reiberger
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology



Non‐selective betablockers (NSBBs) reduce the risk of hepatic decompensation in patients with compensated advanced chronic liver disease (cACLD). Metabolic co‐morbidities (MetC) are increasingly observed in cACLD patients.


To investigate the impact of MetC on the haemodynamic effects of NSBB and hepatic decompensation in cACLD.


cACLD patients undergoing paired hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements before/under NSBB therapy were retrospectively considered for this study. We recorded baseline characteristics on MetC (obesity, dyslipidaemia and diabetes), as well as hepatic decompensation and liver‐related mortality during follow‐up.


We included 92 patients (Child‐A n = 80, 87%; Child‐B n = 12, 13%). MetC were found in 34 (37%) patients: 19 (20.7%) with obesity, 14 (15.2%) with dyslipidaemia and 23 (34.8%) with diabetes. The median baseline HVPG of 18 (IQR:15–21) mmHg decreased to 15 (IQR:9–12) mmHg under NSBB. HVPG‐response (decrease ≥10% or to ≤12 mmHg) was achieved in 60 (65.2.%) patients. Patients with diabetes (OR: 0.35, p = 0.021) and higher BMI (OR: 0.89 per kg/m2, p = 0.031) were less likely to achieve HVPG‐response.

During a median follow‐up of 2.3 (0.5–4.2) years, 18 (19.5%) patients experienced hepatic decompensation. Child‐B (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio, aSHR: 4.3 [95% CI:1.5–12.2], p = 0.006), HVPG‐response (aSHR: 0.3 [95% CI:0.1–0.9], p = 0.037) and diabetes (aSHR: 2.8 [95% CI:1.1–7.2], p = 0.036) were independently associated with hepatic decompensation.


In patients with cACLD, diabetes and a higher BMI impair the HVPG‐response to NSBB. Furthermore, diabetes‐independently from Child B and lack of HVPG‐response‐increases the risk of hepatic decompensation.

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