The role of the hepatic transudation barrier in determining ascites volume and protein content in chronic liver disease is poorly understood. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to characterize how chronic sinusoidal hypertension impacts hepatic transudation barrier properties and the transudation rate. The suprahepatic inferior vena cava was surgically constricted, and animals were exposed to either short-term (SVH; 2-3 wk) or long-term venous hypertension (LVH; 5-6 wk). Compared with SVH, LVH resulted in lower peritoneal fluid pressure, ascites volume, and ascites protein concentration. The transudation barrier protein reflection coefficient was significantly higher, and the transudation barrier hydraulic conductivity, transudation rate, and transudate-to-lymph protein concentration ratio were significantly lower in LVH animals compared with SVH animals. The sensitivity of transudation rates to acute changes in interstitial fluid pressures was also significantly lower in LVH animals compared with SVH animals. In contrast, there was no detectable difference in hepatic lymph flow rate or sensitivity of lymph flow to acute changes in interstitial fluid pressures between SVH and LVH animals. Taken together, these data suggest that decreased hepatic transudation barrier permeability to fluid and protein and increased reflection coefficient led to a decrease in the hepatic contribution to ascites volume. The present work, to the best of our knowledge, is the first to quantify an anti-ascites adaptation of the hepatic transudation barrier in response to chronic hepatic sinusoidal hypertension.
- AscitesCongestive HepatopathyGlisson's CapsuleHepatic Lymph FlowPeritoneal Fluid Balance