Clinically Evident Portal Hypertension: An Operational Research Definition for Future Investigations in the Pediatric Population

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 Jun;68(6):763-767. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002333.


Portal hypertension (PHT) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric liver diseases. Thus, research into causes and disease modifiers in PHT in these conditions is vitally important. PHT is rarely directly or indirectly measured in the assessment of children with chronic liver disease. A straightforward, reproducible definition of PHT could be invaluable for consistently identifying patients with PHT and for grouping these patients according to their risk of complications from their disease. We propose the term Clinically Evident Portal Hypertension (CEPH) to denote clinical findings that demonstrate evidence of elevated portal pressure. When CEPH criteria are met, PHT is highly likely to be present, although it is likely that PHT exists for variable periods of time before meeting CEPH criteria. Use of this research definition of CEPH will allow for consistent identification of these patients by clinicians in nearly any clinical setting and serve as a clinical milepost that may dictate future prognosis in pediatric patients with cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Gastroenterology / methods
  • Gastroenterology / standards*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / classification
  • Hypertension, Portal / diagnosis*
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Symptom Assessment / standards*
  • Terminology as Topic*