Journal of hepatology

D-propoxyphene and norpropoxyphene kinetics after the oral administration of D-propoxyphene: a new approach to liver function?

PMID 7836695


In an attempt to design a liver function test which takes into account both portal-systemic shunting and hepatocellular dysfunction, we investigated a group of patients with cirrhosis with or without surgical porta-caval shunt for d-propoxyphene and its major metabolite, norpropoxyphene kinetics. A small dose of d-propoxyphene (0.7 mg/kg body weight) was given orally to seven normal subjects, 15 patients with cirrhosis and seven patients with cirrhosis and surgical portacaval shunt. D-propoxyphene and norpropoxyphene areas under the plasma concentration-time from 0 to 4-h (AUC) were determined by the trapezoidal method. As d-propoxyphene is a high extraction drug and since the production of norpropoxyphene should reflect the amount of d-propoxyphene available to the hepatocytes, we tested the hypothesis that norpropoxyphene/d-propoxyphene AUC ratios should reflect both the degree of portal-systemic shunting and the severity of hepatocyte dysfunction. Norpropoxyphene/d-propoxyphene AUC ratios were significantly lower in patients with cirrhosis (mean +/- S.D.: 0.92 +/- 0.59) than in controls (2.51 +/- 0.45) and also significantly lower in patients with cirrhosis and a surgical shunt (0.53 +/- 0.23) than in patients with cirrhosis but without surgical shunt (1.10 +/- 0.63). Moreover, there was an overall statistically significant correlation between norpropoxyphene/d-propoxyphene AUC ratios and branched to aromatic amino acids ratios (rs = 0.91) and fasting venous NH4 (rs = -0.63). On the other hand, there was only a weak correlation between norpropoxyphene/d-propoxyphene AUC ratios and the 14C-aminopyrine breath test (rs = 0.43). These data suggest that the norpropoxyphene/d-propoxyphene AUC ratio reflects both shunting and reduced hepatocellular function.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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D-Norpropoxyphene maleate salt, analytical standard
C21H27NO2 · C4H4O4