Published online Nov 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i41.11502
Peer-review started: April 17, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: June 17, 2015
Accepted: September 14, 2015
Article in press: September 14, 2015
Published online: November 7, 2015
Core tip: During the course of cirrhosis, there is an impairment in cardiac function with decrease in cardiac output. This process is due to a cirrhotic cardiomyopathy with diastolic dysfunction that may compromise the inotropic function which takes place in parallel with a chronotropic heart dysfunction. This cardiomyopathy plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the impairment of effective arterial blood volume in cirrhosis. The clinical consequences of cardiac dysfunction may be an inadequate cardiac output in response to clinical events that produce effective hypovolemia leading to renal failure. The severity of cardiomyopathy is a marker of advanced cirrhosis and mortality.