JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Venous thrombosis of the liver: current and emerging concepts in management

Leonard Naymagon
Translational Research: the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 2020 May 11
32407789
Venous thrombosis within the hepatic vasculature is associated with a distinct array of risk factors, characteristics, and potential complication. As such, it entails unique management considerations and strategies relative to the more common categories of venous thromboembolic disease. Although broadly divided into thrombosis of the afferent vasculature (the portal venous system) and efferent vasculature (the hepatic venous system), presentations and management strategies within these groupings are heterogeneous. Management decisions are influenced by a variety of factors including the chronicity, extent, and etiology of thrombosis. In this review we examine both portal vein thrombosis and hepatic vein thrombosis (and the associated Budd-Chiari Syndrome). We consider those factors which most impact presentation and most influence treatment. In so doing, we see how the particulars of specific cases introduce nuance into clinical decisions. At the same time we attempt to organize our understanding of such cases to help facilitate a more systematic approach. Critically, we must recognize that although increasing evidence is emerging to help guide our management strategies, the available data remain limited and largely retrospective. Indeed, current paradigms are based largely on observational experiences and expert consensus. As new and more rigorous studies emerge, treatment strategies are likely to be continually refined, and paradigm shifts are sure to occur.

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