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Disease Markers
Volume 31, Issue 3, Pages 147-154

Prognostic Markers in Patients with Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension Who Have Not Bled

Maria Poca,1 Angela Puente,1 Isabel Graupera,1 and Càndid Villanueva1,2

1Gastrointestinal Bleeding Unit. Department of Gastroenterology. Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University, Barcelona, Spain
2Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBEREHD o Ciberehd), Barcelona, Spain

Received 14 October 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prognostic markers of compensated cirrhosis should mainly investigate factors involved with progression to decompensation because death in cirrhosis is related with decompensation. Portal hypertension plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of most complications of cirrhosis. Accordingly, HVPGmonitoring has strong prognostic value. An HVPG ≥ 10 mmHg determines a significantly higher risk of developing decompensation. Esophageal varices also can develop when the HVPG is ≥ 10 mmHg, although an HVPG ≥ 12 mmHg is required for variceal bleeding to occur. Monitoring the changes induced by the treatment of portal hypertension on HVPG, provides strong prognostic information. In compensated cirrhosis hemodynamic response is appropriate when the HVPG decreased to <10 mmHg or by > 10% from baseline, because the incidence of complications such as bleeding or ascites significantly decrease when these targets are achieved. Whether serum markers, such as the FibroTest, they, may be valuable to predict decompensation should be established. Transient Elastography is a promising technique that has shown an excellent accuracy to detect severe portal hypertension. However, whether it can adequately determine clinically significant portal hypertension, and risk of developing varices and decompensation, should be established. Magnetic Resonance Elastography is also promising.