Roberto J Groszmann MD

Professor Emeritus of and Senior Research Scientist in Medicine (Digestive Diseases)

Research Interests

Ascites; Cirrhosis; Portal Hypertension; Variceal Bleeding


Research Summary

The most common and lethal complications of cirrhosis are related to the development of portal hypertension. Half of the deaths from cirrhosis are related to gastrointestinal bleeding due to portal hypertension. The studies performed in our laboratory on different models of portal hypertension as well as in patients with chronic liver diseases and portal hypertension, allow us to focus on those questions that are key to a thorough understanding to the pathophysiology of portal hypertension and its logical treatment. Contributions from our laboratory to the field of portal hypertension have included recognition of 1) the significance of increased splanchnic blood flow in contributing to the severity of portal hypertension, 2) the role of plasma volume expansion in aggravating the severity of portal hypertension, 3) the role of nitric oxide in portal hypertension 4) the development of new animal models and techniques for studying the pathophysiology and effects of therapy in portal hypertension. In the clinical area, 1) the mechanisms leading to variceal rupture, 2) the introduction of nitrates to the treatment of portal hypertension, 3) the potential benefits of various drugs combinations in treating portal hypertensive patients and 4) clinical trials in order to explore the knowledge acquired in the laboratory.

During the course of training, the research fellow becomes familiar with techniques to study splanchnic and systemic hemodynamics in patients and animal models of portal hypertension. Also, they become proficient in principles and techniques to study vascular physiology and pathophysiology at the cellular as well as the molecular level, in the portal and intrahepatic circulation. Fellows interested in clinical research can become involved in the organization and development of multicenter clinical trials.


Selected Publications

  • Qamar AA, Grace ND, Groszmann RJ, Garcia-Tsao G, Bosch J, Burroughs AK, Maurer R, Planas R, Escorsell A, Garcia-Pagan JC, Patch D, Matloff DS, Makuch R Portal Hypertension Collaborative Group. Platelet count is not a predictor of the presence or development of gastroesophageal varices in cirrhosis. Hepatology. 2008 Jan47(1):153-9.
  • Lee CH, Loureiro-Silva MR, Abraldes JG, Iwakiri Y, Haq O, Groszmann RJ. Decreased intrahepatic response to alpha(1)-adrenergic agonists in lipopolysaccharide-treated rats is located in the sinusoidal area and depends on Kupffer cell function. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Jun22(6):893-900. Epub 2007 May 13.
  • Ripoll C, Groszmann R, Garcia-Tsao G, Bosch J, Grace N, Burroughs AK, Planas R, Escorsell A, Garcia-Pagan JC, Makuch R, Patch D, Matloff DS and the Portal Hypertension Collaborative Group. Hepatic Venous Pressure Gradient Predicts Clinical Decompensation in Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis. Gastroenterology Aug 133(2):481-488, 2007.
  • Lim J and Groszmann, R. Transient Elastography for Diagnosis of Portal Hypertension in Liver Cirrhosis: Is There Still a Role for HVPG Measurement? Editorial Hepatology 45(5) 1087-1090, 2007. 11) Iwakiri Y and Groszmann RJ. Vascular endothelial dysfunction in cirrhosis. Review J Hepatology 46(5) 927-934, 2007.
  • Kwon SY, Groszmann RJ, Iwakiri Y. Increased neuronal nitric oxide synthase interaction with soluble guanylate cyclase contributes to the splanchnic arterial vasodilation in portal hypertensive rats. Hepatol Res Jan37(1):58-67, 2007.

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