Liver transplantation is the only therapeutic option for patients with end-stage liver disease. Nitric oxide, a free radical produced from L-arginine, a potent vasodilator, also inhibits platelet adhesion and aggregation, reduces adhesion of leukocytes to the endothelium and suppresses proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. The inducible form of the nitric oxide synthase may generate large quantities of nitric oxide, and may be induced by the action of cytokines and lipopolysaccharides. Nitric oxide can be released from the hepatic vascular endothelium, platelets and Kupffer cells as a response to ischemia-reperfusion injury and circulatory shock.
We analyzed the relationships between the levels of nitric oxide, hepatic enzymes and other clinical parameters (glucose, total proteins, total bilirubin, creatinine, albumin) obtained in serum samples before liver transplantation and every 48 h till day 15 in 15 patients aged 40 ± 13 years.
Aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels changed from high at the beginning, to almost normal at the end of the study, cholinesterase levels remained decreased throughout the study and nitric oxide remained high, never reaching normal values.
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