A 29-year-old male patient with Crohn's disease of the terminal ileum and previous abdominal surgery was admitted because of severe abdominal pain and signs of bacterial sepsis. The diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis and multiple liver abscesses due to Streptococcus intermedius septicaemia was made and antibiotic therapy was instituted immediately. As high-dose heparin therapy was ineffective, urokinase was administered intravenously over a total of 7 days. Within 2 days, the patient's symptoms completely subsided. Colour duplex ultrasonography revealed complete recanalization of the main stem of the portal vein; the right branch of the portal vein, however, remained occluded. Other case reports on thrombolytic therapy in patients with portal vein thrombosis are reviewed.