[Diagnosis and treatment of portal thrombosis in liver cirrhosis]

Susana Seijo, Angeles García-Criado, Anna Darnell, Juan Carlos García-Pagán
Gastroenterología y Hepatología 2012, 35 (9): 660-6
Improved imaging techniques and the routine use of color Doppler ultrasound in the follow-up of patients with liver cirrhosis has increased diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in these patients. The extension of PVT should be evaluated with computed tomography angiography or magnetic resonance angiography. The natural history of PVT in cirrhosis and its impact on liver disease is unknown but it seems clear that PVT could increase the morbidity and mortality associated with liver transplantation and can even be a contraindication to this procedure when the thrombus extends to the superior mesenteric vein. Anticoagulation is a relatively safe and effective treatment in achieving recanalization of the splenoportal axis or in preventing progression of thrombosis and is therefore frequently used. The use of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) is reserved for patients unresponsive to anticoagulation or in those with severe complications of portal hypertension.

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