Autonomic dysfunction in chronic liver disease
James Frith, Julia L Newton
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
Abstract: It is becoming increasingly clear that quality of life (QOL) is impaired in those with chronic liver disease (CLD). One of the most important contributors to impaired QOL is the symptomatic burden which can range from slight to debilitating. Autonomic dysfunction accounts for a significant proportion of these symptoms, which can be common, non-specific and challenging to treat. Investigating the autonomic nervous system can be straight forward and can assist the clinician to diagnose and treat specific symptoms. Evidence-based treatment options for autonomic symptoms, specifically in CLD, can be lacking and must be extrapolated from other studies and expert opinion. For those with severely impaired quality of life, liver transplantation may offer an improvement; however, more research is needed to confirm this.
Keywords: quality of life, treatment, fatigue, angiotensin II
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