Carlo Merkel

Learn More
Although the effect of malnutrition on survival has been demonstrated by a number of studies, it is not clear whether malnutrition represents an independent risk factor in patients with liver disease. We studied 212 hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis who were followed clinically for 2 y or until death. Body fat and muscle mass were evaluated by(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS Beta-blockers are extensively used to prevent variceal bleeding in patients with large esophageal varices. It is not established if beta-blockers delay the growth of small varices. METHODS A total of 161 patients with cirrhosis and small esophageal varices (F1 according to the classification of Beppu et al.) without previous bleeding(More)
BACKGROUND/AIMS The incidence and natural history of small esophageal varices (EV) in cirrhotics may influence the frequency of endoscopies and the decision to start a pharmacological treatment in these patients. METHODS We prospectively evaluated 206 cirrhotics, 113 without varices and 93 with small EV, during a mean follow-up of 37+/-22 months. Patients(More)
BACKGROUND Several studies carried out in a limited number of patients demonstrated a wide range of overestimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by serum creatinine level and creatinine clearance (Ccr) in liver disease. METHODS We simultaneously evaluated Ccr, inulin clearance, and predicted GFR calculated from serum creatinine level in 56 cirrhotic(More)
Attentional dysfunction, which influences overall cognitive productivity, is not well characterized in cirrhotic patients. The aim of this study was to clarify the features of covert visual attention orienting in cirrhotics without overt hepatic encephalopathy. One hundred consecutive cirrhotic patients and 40 controls were enrolled. Visual covert attention(More)
The possible relationships between splenomegaly and portal hypertension have been analysed in patients with cirrhosis. In this condition, splenomegaly is not only caused by portal congestion, but it is mainly due to tissue hyperplasia and fibrosis. The increase in spleen size is followed by an increase in splenic blood flow, which participates in portal(More)
The aim of this study was to assess the interobserver, interequipment, and time-dependent variabilities of echo-Doppler measurements of portal blood flow velocity (PBV), portal vein diameters (PVDs) and their derived parameters, portal blood flow (PBF), and congestion index (CI) in cirrhotic patients. The influence of a cooperative training program of the(More)
Portal hypertension is primarily caused by the increase in resistance to portal outflow and secondly by an increase in splanchnic blood flow, which worsens and maintains the increased portal pressure. Increased portal inflow plays a role in the hyperdynamic circulatory syndrome, a characteristic feature of portal hypertensive patients. Almost all the known(More)
The plasma level of carnitine, a co-factor involved in many metabolic reactions, is high in alcoholic liver cirrhosis, due to an increased amount of esterified carnitine. To determine if this alteration is linked to alcoholic liver disease or to liver cirrhosis per se. total carnitine, free carnitine, total esterified carnitine, short chain acylcarnitine(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS Electroencephalography has not been completely quantified in patients with cirrhosis. We investigated the electroencephalogram (EEG) dynamics in patients with cirrhosis. METHODS We performed closed-eye EEGs on 175 patients with cirrhosis (age, 55 ± 11 years; 24% Child-Pugh class A, 48% class B, and 285 class C), conducted clinical and(More)