Bile acids and cardiovascular function in cirrhosis

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Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy and the hyperdynamic syndrome are clinically important complications of cirrhosis, but their exact pathogenesis is still partly unknown. Experimental models have proven the cardiotoxic effects of bile acids and recent studies of their varied receptor-mediated functions offer new insight into their involvement in cardiovascular dysfunction in cirrhosis. Bile acid receptors such as farnesoid X-activated receptor and TGR5 are currently under investigation as potential therapeutic targets in a variety of pathological conditions. These receptors have also recently been identified in cardiomyocytes, vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells where they seem to play an important role in cellular metabolism. Chronic cholestasis leading to abnormal levels of circulating bile acids alters the normal signalling pathways and contributes to the development of profound cardiovascular disturbances. This review summarizes the evidence regarding the role of bile acids and their receptors in the generation of cardiovascular dysfunction in cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLiver International
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1420-1430
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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