BACKGROUND: A simulated upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleed in cirrhotic patients has been shown to induce hyperammonaemia. The kidney was the site of this exaggerated ammoniagenesis with alanine as substrate. Administration of alanine to decompensated cirrhotic patients did not change hepatic gluconeogenesis, but resulted in increased ammoniagenesis. We hypothesise that reduced hepatic glycogen stores result in hyperglucagonaemia which may drive increased renal gluconeogenesis and therefore alanine uptake and renal ammoniagenesis. AIM: To determine whether an overnight glucose infusion lowers renal ammoniagenesis by reducing hyperglucagonaemia and renal ammoniagenesis. METHODS: Patients with decompensated cirrhosis were studied in a cross-over design. An UGI bleed was simulated via intragastric administration of an amino acids mixture mimicking the haemoglobin molecule after a 12-h overnight fast (F-group) or after a 12-h treatment with 20% glucose solution (G-group). RESULTS: Before the simulated bleed the glucagon levels were 21 (15-31) pmol/L in the F-group and 15 (9-21) pmol/L in the G-group (P < 0.01). After the simulated bleed, arterial ammonia levels increased in both groups [F-group: 73-118 mumol/L (P = 0.01); G-group 64-87 mumol/L (P = 0.01)]. The enhancement of hyperammonaemia was significantly higher in the F-group (45 [19-71] mumol/L) compared with the G-group (23 [13-39] mumol/L) (P = 0.01). The difference in renal ammoniagenesis during the simulated bleed in the F-group was 399 (260-655) nmol/kg/bwt/min and was significantly higher than in the G-group 313 (1-498) nmol/kg/bwt/min (P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Overnight glucose infusion results in reduced renal ammoniagenesis and attenuates ammonia levels. These observations have implications for the development of nutritional strategies in hyperammonaemic patients.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2012|
- HEPATIC CIRRHOSIS
- DRAINED VISCERA
- KIDNEY PLAYS
- MAJOR ROLE