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Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts-nontumor

Vascular disorders

Portal hypertension

Reviewers: Komal Arora, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 16 May 2012, last major update May 2012
Copyright: (c) 2004-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Causes are pre-, intra- and post-hepatic
Prehepatic: obstructive thrombosis and narrowing of portal vein before it ramifies in the liver, shunting of blood into splenic vein via splenomegaly
Intrahepatic: usually cirrhosis, due to increased resistance to portal flow at level of sinusoids and compression of central veins by perivenular fibrosis and expansive parenchymal nodules; also connections between arterial and portal systems raise portal venous pressure
Posthepatic: congestive heart failure, constrictive pericarditis, hepatic vein outflow obstruction; may be due to myeloproliferative disorders with hypercoagulability, peritonitis, chronic exposure to arsenic
Rare causes: schistosomiasis, massive fatty change, sarcoidosis, miliary tuberculosis, nodular regenerative hyperplasia

Complications: ascites, portosystemic venous shunts (hemorrhoidal veins, cardioesophageal junction and esophageal varices, retroperitoneum, falciform ligament of liver [dilated periumbilical and abdominal wall collaterals cause caput medusae on abdominal / thorax]), congestive splenomegaly, hepatic encephalopathy

End of Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts-nontumor > Vascular disorders > Portal hypertension

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