Clinical and anamnestic data, Pugh score, and size of esophageal varices were obtained in 129 cirrhotics. Hepatic vein catheterization was performed to measure hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG), indocyanine green (ICG) intrinsic hepatic clearance, and hepatic plasma flow. During a follow-up period of up to 60 months, 44 patients experienced gastrointestinal bleeding and 54 died. Applying Cox regression analysis, ICG intrinsic hepatic clearance, Pugh score, previous variceal bleeding, and HVPG were the only significant prognostic determinants of survival. In addition, Cox's regression analysis showed that HVPG, Pugh score, size of varices, and previous variceal bleeding all contained significant prognostic information regarding risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The models were validated using a split-sample technique, and prognostic indexes for death and gastrointestinal bleeding were calculated. The prognostic index predicting death had significantly improved prognostic accuracy over a prognostic index calculated excluding the data obtained from hepatic vein catheterization (P less than 0.05). In conclusion, prognostic accuracy in cirrhosis with portal hypertension is significantly improved by information obtained from hepatic vein catheterization.