Etiology and consequences of thrombosis in abdominal vessels

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb 28;12(8):1165-74. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i8.1165.


The thrombophilia which can be either congenital or acquired in adult life has major implications in the abdominal vessels. The resulting portal vein thrombosis, Budd-Chiari syndrome and mesenteric vein thrombosis have a variety of consequences ranging from acute abdomen to chronic hepatomegaly and even totally asymptomatic patient in whom the only finding is pancytopenia. The complications like esophageal varices, portal gastropathy, ascites, severe hypersplenism, liver failure requiring liver transplantation are well known. Interesting features of collateral venous circulation showing itself as pseudocholangiocarcinoma sign and its possible clinical reflection as cholestasis are also known from a long time. The management strategies for these complications of intraabdominal vessel thrombosis are not different from their counterpart which is cirrhotic portal hypertension, but the prognosis is unquestionably better in former cases. In this review we presented and discussed the abdominal venous thrombosis, etiology and the resulting clinical pictures. There are controversial issues both in nomenclature, and management including anticoagulation problems and follow up strategies. In light of the current knowledge, we discussed some controversial issues in literature and presented our experience and our proposals about this group of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / blood supply*
  • Angiography
  • Ascites / etiology
  • Budd-Chiari Syndrome / complications
  • Budd-Chiari Syndrome / etiology
  • Budd-Chiari Syndrome / pathology
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / etiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Failure / etiology
  • Mesenteric Veins / pathology
  • Portal Vein / pathology
  • Thrombophilia / genetics
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology
  • Thrombosis / complications*
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / pathology