Portal vein thrombosis: an overview of current treatment options

Acta Gastroenterol Belg. 2021 Apr-Jun;84(2):327-332. doi: 10.51821/84.2.327.


Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a splanchnic vascular disorder characterised by a recent or chronic thrombotic occlusion of the portal venous system. Its aetiology is miscellaneous, and its management is demanding since PVT can play a critical role as far as morbidity and mortality are concerned. Indeed, PVT can develop as a complication of portal hypertension (PH), in association or not with advanced chronic liver disease, and aggravate its clinical consequences such as variceal bleeding and ascites. Furthermore, a diagnosis of PVT in a non-cirrhotic context can potentially reveal a previously unknown hypercoagulable condition, requiring further diagnostic steps and specific treatment in addition to anticoagulation. In addition to established therapeutic approaches, new strategies, including newer pharmacological treatments and interdisciplinary invasive procedures, gain more attention and have been increasingly introduced into clinical practice. This review aims at discussing the current knowledge in terms of treatment options for PVT.

Keywords: Portal vein thrombosis; anticoagulation; cirrhosis; portal hypertension; transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices* / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Portal Vein / pathology
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic*
  • Thrombosis*
  • Treatment Outcome