Liver fibrosis can progress to cirrhosis, which is considered a serious disease. The Child-Pugh score and the model of end-stage liver disease score have been established to assess residual liver function in patients with liver cirrhosis. The development of portal hypertension contributes to ascites, variceal bleeding and further complications in these patients. A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is used to lower portal pressure, which represents a major improvement in the treatment of patients. Adipokines are proteins released from adipose tissue and modulate hepatic fibrogenesis. These proteins affect various biological processes that are involved in liver function, including angiogenesis, vasodilation, inflammation and deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. The best studied adipokines are adiponectin and leptin. Adiponectin protects against hepatic inflammation and fibrogenesis, and leptin functions as a profibrogenic factor. These and other adipokines are supposed to modulate disease severity in patients with liver cirrhosis. Consequently, circulating levels of these proteins have been analyzed to identify associations with parameters of hepatic function, portal hypertension and its associated complications in patients with liver cirrhosis. This review article briefly addresses the role of adipokines in hepatitis and liver fibrosis. Here, studies having analyzed these proteins in systemic blood in cirrhotic patients are listed to identify adipokines that are comparably changed in the different cohorts of patients with liver cirrhosis. Some studies measured these proteins in systemic, hepatic and portal vein blood or after TIPS to specify the tissues contributing to circulating levels of these proteins and the effect of portal hypertension, respectively.
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