These tests can help find if you have hepatopulmonary syndrome:

  • Arterial blood gas. For this test, blood is taken from an artery to measure levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide and the pH balance.
  • Chest imaging. X-rays, CT scanning or echocardiogram imaging with a salt solution given through a vein, called a saline contrast study, can help rule out other heart or lung conditions.
  • Pulse oximetry. In pulse oximetry, a sensor attached to the finger or ear uses light to see how much oxygen is in the blood.


Being given oxygen, called supplemental oxygen therapy, is the main treatment for shortness of breath caused by low oxygen levels in the blood. A liver transplant is the only cure for hepatopulmonary syndrome.

Hepatopulmonary syndrome care at Mayo Clinic

Jan. 19, 2024

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  2. Lange PA, et al. Hepatopulmonary syndrome in adults: Prevalence, causes, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. https//www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 13, 2023.
  3. Hepatopulmonary syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hepatopulmonary-syndrome/. Accessed Oct. 13, 2023
  4. Raevens S, et al. Hepatopulmonary syndrome. JHEP Reports. 2022; doi:10.1016/j.jhepr.2022.100527.
  5. Ami TR. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Dec. 6, 2023.
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