Evidence of Ventricular Arrhythmogenicity and Cardiac Sympathetic Hyperinnervation in Early Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy

Shin Huei Liu, Li Wei Lo*, Yu Hui Chou, Wei Lun Lin, Tsung Ying Tsai, Wen Han Cheng, Yenn Jiang Lin, Shih Lin Chang, Yu Feng Hu, Fa Po Chung, Hui Chun Huang, Shih Ann Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (CMP) is associated with altered cardiac electrophysiological (EP) properties, which leads to the risk of ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). We aimed to evaluate the EP properties, autonomic, and structural remodeling in a rabbit model with early liver cirrhosis (LC). Twelve rabbits were assigned to the sham and LC groups. The early-stage LC was induced by the ligation of the common bile duct. All rabbits received an EP study, VA inducibility test, myocardial, and liver histology staining. Western blot analyses of protein expression and tyrosine hydroxylase stain for sympathetic nerves were performed. The effective refractory period the LC group was significantly longer than the sham group [i.e., left ventricle (LV) 205.56 ± 40.30 vs. 131.36 ± 7.94 ms; right ventricle (RV) 206.78 ± 33.07 vs. 136.79 ± 15.15 ms; left atrium (LA) 140.56 ± 28.75 vs. 67.71 ± 14.29 ms; and right atrium (RA) 133.78 ± 40.58 vs. 65.43 ± 19.49 ms, all p < 0.01], respectively. The VA inducibility was elevated in the LC group when compared with the sham group (i.e., 21.53 ± 7.71 vs. 7.76 ± 2.44%, p = 0.013). Sympathetic innervation (102/μm2/mm2) was increased in all cardiac chambers of the LC group compared with the sham group (i.e., LV 9.11 ± 4.86 vs. 0.17 ± 0.15, p < 0.01; RV 4.36 ± 4.95 vs. 0.18 ± 0.12, p = 0.026; LA 6.79 ± 1.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.20, p = 0.018; and RA 15.18 ± 5.12 vs. 0.10 ± 0.07, p = 0.014), respectively. Early LC is presented with an increased ventricular vulnerability, structural heterogeneity, and sympathetic innervation. Close monitoring for fatal arrhythmias is warranted in patients with early stages of LC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number719883
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - 8 Dec 2021


  • cardiac electrophysiology
  • cirrhotic cardiomyopathy
  • liver cirrhosis
  • liver sympathetic innervation
  • ventricular tachycardia (VT)


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