Portal Interventions in the Setting of Venous Thrombosis or Occlusion

Academic Article


  • Portal vein thrombosis most commonly occurs as a complication of liver cirrhosis and can result in worsening symptoms of portal hypertension, which often can be challenging to treat with conventional decompression therapies. In addition, because complete portal vein thrombosis is associated with higher posttransplant morbidity and mortality, it is regarded as a relative contraindication to liver transplant. Often, the diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis is incidental; hence, imaging remains the mainstay for diagnosing this complication and is used to guide subsequent treatment. Although anticoagulation is the initial approach used to treat acute portal vein thrombosis, endovascular and/or surgical interventions may be necessary when there is concern for impending bowel ischemia. Treatment of chronic portal vein thrombosis is primarily aimed at alleviating the symptoms of portal hypertension and improving the chance of candidacy for liver transplant. Awareness of the portal venous anatomy to differentiate it from the periportal collaterals is key during recanalization of a chronically occluded portal vein. The authors provide an overview of the pathophysiology, acute and chronic imaging findings, and management of portal vein thrombo-sis, with a specific focus on endovascular management, as well as a summary of the current related literature.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Salei A; El Khudari H; McCafferty BJ; Varma RK
  • Start Page

  • 1690
  • End Page

  • 1704
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 6