The influence of verapamil and nifedipine on hepatic indocyanine green kinetics was studied in 12 patients with HBsAg-positive cirrhosis and ascites. Hepatic clearance and its two biologic determinants, hepatic blood flow and metabolic activity (intrinsic clearance [maximum velocity/metabolite elimination rate constant, or Vmax/km]), were determined from hepatic indocyanine green elimination at steady state in patients with cirrhosis. Acute intravenous administration 10 mg verapamil significantly increased the hepatic indocyanine green blood flow (p < 0.05), but significantly decreased the hepatic clearance (p < 0.05, extraction ratio (p < 0.05) and Vmax/km (p < 0.05. However, acute sublingual administration of 10 mg nifedipine resulted in no significant change in any parameters of hepatic elimination function. These results show that verapamil, but not nifedipine, might impair the transhepatic extraction activity of hepatocytes in patients with HBsAg-positive cirrhosis and ascites.
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