In patients with cirrhosis and ascites decreased renal blood flow might be related to the severity of liver disease but the relationship beween the severity of cirrhosis and renal perfusion has not yet been established. Thus we measured renal, systemic and splanchnic hemodynamics in 63 patients with ascites and in 28 without ascites. When compared to patients without ascites, patients with ascites had lower renal blood flow (1,170 ± 100 vs. 935 ± 55 ml/min/1.73 m2; mean ± SEM, p < 0.05) and renal perfusion pressure (78 ± 2 vs. 72 ± 1 mm Hg, p < 0.05 and higher inferior vena cava pressure (6.5 ± 0.7 vs. 10.7 ± 0.7 mm Hg, p < 0.05). Patients with ascites had significantly higher serum bilirubin concentrations, hepatic venous pressure gradient and lower serum albumin concentrations, indocyanine green (ICG) extraction than patients without ascites. Renal vascular resistance, glomerular filtration rate, mean arterial pressure, cardiac index and systemic vascular resistance were not significantly different between the two groups. By multiple regression analysis no significant correlation was found between liver tests (i.e., prothrombin time, serum bilirubin and albumin concentrations, ICG extraction), hepatic venous pressure gradient, cardiac index and systemic vascular resistance on the one hand and renal blood flow on the other. No significant correlation was found between glomerular filtration rate and liver tests. In conclusion, in patients with cirrhosis and ascites, renal hypoperfusion is not related to the severity of liver disease.

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