Portopulmonary hypertension (POPH) is a complication of cirrhosis that results in right ventricular failure and death. The objective of this autopsy investigation was to compare pulmonary arterial receptors in subjects with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of pulmonary vascular disease (PVD) and control group subjects with cirrhosis lacking evidence of PVD. Autopsy records of 824 subjects with cirrhosis were reviewed to identify pulmonary arterial vasculopathy. Lung sections from paraffin embedded blocks were immunostained for endothelin A (ET-A), endothelin B (ET- B), estrogen α (ER-α), estrogen β (ER-β), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Subjects with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD included 27 individuals with intimal hyperplasia (93%), medial hypertrophy (96%), and plexiform lesions (78%). Immunohistochemical staining for ET-A revealed positive reactivity in 40% of the group with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD and 13% of the control group (NS). ET-B reactivity in the pulmonary endothelium and smooth muscle was identified in all subjects with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD and control group. VEGF reactivity was identified in the endothelium in all subjects with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD compared with 33% of the control group (p = 0.0002). ER-β reactivity was observed in four subjects (26.6%) with cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD while none in the control group (NS). Cirrhosis and histopathologic evidence of PVD was found in 3.3% of autopsies with the pulmonary vasculature immunohistochemical profile demonstrating endothelial and smooth muscle reactivity for endothelin, VEGF and ER-β.
- Portopulmonary hypertension
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine