Portal Vein Thrombosis and Nephrotic Syndrome After Liver Transplant

Exp Clin Transplant. 2019 Jun;17(3):418-420. doi: 10.6002/ect.2016.0259. Epub 2017 Jun 5.


Despite systemic thromboembolic complications being frequent, portal vein thrombosis is a rare complication of nephrotic syndrome. We report here a liver transplant recipient who presented a late extensive portal vein thrombosis related to nephrotic syndrome. During regular follow-up after liver transplant, the patient presented with diabetes, arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and progressive renal dysfunction. In addition, urine analysis showed isolated proteinuria, and the diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome was made 36 months after liver transplant. Sixty months after liver transplant, the patient presented with mild acute abdominal pain, and the diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis was made from a computed tomography scan. Other causes for portal vein thrombosis were excluded. Histologic examination of a liver biopsy disclosed only mild steatosis. Histologic examination of a kidney biopsy disclosed severe lesions, suggesting a multifactorial, advanced chronic nephropathy probably caused by nephroangiosclerosis, diabetes, and toxicity of calcineurin inhibitors. Anticoagulation therapy led to complete recanalization of the portal and splenic veins, which was maintained thereafter. In conclusion, the case we report here illustrates that portal vein thrombosis can occur after liver transplant in the context of nephrotic syndrome, complicating chronic kidney disease, which is a very frequent and multifactorial complication after liver transplant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Portal Vein*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis*