Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Monday, 03 / 08 / 2021

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Nontumoral Portal Vein Thrombosis: A Challenging Consequence of Liver Cirrhosis

Manus Rugivarodom and Phunchai Charatcharoenwitthaya*,

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
*Correspondence to: Phunchai Charatcharoenwitthaya, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Wang-Lang Road, Bangkoknoi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand. Tel: +662-419-7282, Fax: +662-411-5013, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020;8(4):432-444 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2020.00067
Received: July 16, 2020 Accepted: October 18, 2020 Published online: November 11, 2020


Nontumoral portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is an increasingly recognized complication in patients with cirrhosis. Substantial evidence shows that portal flow stasis, complex thrombophilic disorders, and exogenous factors leading to endothelial dysfunction have emerged as key factors in the pathogenesis of PVT. The contribution of PVT to hepatic decompensation and mortality in cirrhosis is debatable; however, the presence of an advanced PVT increases operative complexity and decreases survival after transplantation. The therapeutic decision for PVT is often determined by the duration and extent of thrombosis, the presence of symptoms, and liver transplant eligibility. Evidence from several cohorts has demonstrated that anticoagulation treatment with vitamin K antagonist or low molecular weight heparin can achieve recanalization of the portal vein, which is associated with a reduction in portal hypertension-related events and improved survival in cirrhotic patients with PVT. Consequently, interest in direct oral anticoagulants for PVT is increasing, but clinical data in cirrhosis are limited. Although the most feared consequence of anticoagulation is bleeding, most studies indicate that anticoagulation therapy for PVT in cirrhosis appears relatively safe. Interestingly, the data showed that transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt represents an effective adjunctive therapy for PVT in cirrhotic patients with symptomatic portal hypertension if anticoagulation is ineffective. Insufficient evidence regarding the optimal timing, modality, and duration of therapy makes nontumoral PVT a challenging consequence of cirrhosis. In this review, we summarize the current literature and provide a potential algorithm for the management of PVT in patients with cirrhosis.


Portal vein thrombosis, Liver cirrhosis, Clinical course, Anticoagulation, Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020 vol. 8, 432-444  [ Html  ] [ PDF Full-text ]

© The Authors 2020. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.


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