Cirrhotics do not respond uniformly to head-out water immersion (HWI). Some cirrhotics have an exaggerated natriuresis while others are unresponsive. We studied the humoral and urinary responses to HWI in 5 cirrhotics and compared this to 5 normals on the same 20 mM sodium intake. These cirrhotics had a documented tendency to salt and water retention but had no minimal or no evidence of significant ascites. Plasma levels of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) increased during immersion was significantly greater in the cirrhotics (p < 0.01), than in the normal volunteers. In these cirrhotics, HWI not only corrected the pre-immersion tendency to sodium retention, but by 3 hours had produced an exaggerated natriuretic response (p < 0.05). It is possible that the greater rise of ANF in cirrhotics is responsible for this natriuretic response. However the reason for the larger rise in cirrhotics is nuclear; presumably either a greater central redistribution of plasma volume occurs in cirrhotics following immersion, or there may be greater sensitivity of the ANF release system in cirrhotics.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Clinical and Investigative Medicine|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 1988|