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Study of autonomic nervous system activity in chronic liver disease has aroused great inter-ests due to its increasing prevalence due to various etiologies. The present study was under-taken to assess the autonomic nervous system activity in chronic liver disease patients by five standard autonomic function tests. Forty patients (20 with alcoholic liver disease and 20 with non- alcoholic liver disease) and 40 normal healthy age sex matched controls were re-cruited in the study. Statistical analysis comprised student’s “t” test. Thirty out of the 40 pa-tients (75%) were found to have autonomic dysfunction. Fourteen out of 30 patients (46.67%) had only parasympathetic damage and 16 out of 30 (53.53%) had combined sym-pathetic and parasympathetic damage. Eighty percent of the alcoholic liver disease patients and 70 % of the non- alcoholic liver disease patients showed autonomic dysfunction. In con-clusion, autonomic nervous dysfunction is present in significant number of patients with chronic liver disease. Overall; the parasympathetic impairment was more frequently pre-sent in chronic liver disease patients than sympathetic impairment . Autonomic dysfunction is found with comparable frequency in alcoholics and non-alcoholics suggesting that chronic liver disease, irrespective of etiology, contributes to autonomic dysfunction. The clinical im-plication of our study is that keeping in view the significant prevalence of autonomic dys-function caution should be exercised while managing chronic liver disease patients as cir-rhotic cardiomyopathy can be unmasked by surgical intervention.
Autonomic dysfunction, chronic liver disease, autonomic function tests