Portal vein thrombosis after partial splenic embolization in liver cirrhosis: efficacy of anticoagulation and long-term follow-up

Mingyue Cai, Kangshun Zhu, Wensou Huang, Xiaochun Meng, Keke He, Bin Zhou, Yongjian Guo, Junwei Chen, Hong Shan
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: JVIR 2013, 24 (12): 1808-16

PURPOSE: To investigate the treatment and long-term outcome of portal vein thrombosis (PVT) after partial splenic embolization (PSE).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From January 2006 to December 2011, 145 patients with hypersplenism caused by cirrhotic portal hypertension underwent PSE. In 11 cases, PVT was detected 13-42 days after PSE. Among the 11 patients, 5 underwent anticoagulant therapy because of clinical symptoms, and 6 did not receive anticoagulation because they were symptom-free (4 patients) or experienced variceal bleeding (2 patients). The long-term follow-up data from these 11 patients were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS: The 11 patients with PVT had a mean splenic infarction ratio of 71.5%. The mean duration of follow-up was 37.6 months. During the follow-up period, none of the 5 patients who underwent anticoagulation developed variceal hemorrhage despite presenting with large esophagogastric varices. Four of the five patients achieved complete resolution of thrombosis, and one did not develop thrombus progression. However, among the 6 patients who did not undergo anticoagulation, 2 developed esophagogastric variceal hemorrhage secondary to thrombus progression, 3 developed cavernous transformation of the portal vein and variceal progression, and 1 had partial calcification of the thrombus. Two patients who had variceal bleeding or rebleeding underwent a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. Complete recanalization of the portal vein was achieved after the procedures.

CONCLUSIONS: PVT is a severe, potentially fatal complication of PSE. Early detection of PVT and prompt anticoagulation are effective to avoid serious consequences of PVT.

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