It is well established that portal hypertension can occur in the absence of cirrhosis, as reported in patients with immune disorders, infections and thrombophilia. However, similar histological abnormalities primarily affecting the hepatic sinusoidal and (peri)portal vasculature have also been observed in patients without portal hypertension. Thus, the term porto-sinusoidal vascular disorder (PSVD) has recently been introduced to describe a group of vascular diseases of the liver featuring lesions encompassing the portal venules and sinusoids, irrespective of the presence/absence of portal hypertension. Liver biopsy is fundamental for PSVD diagnosis. Specific histology findings include nodular regenerative hyperplasia, obliterative portal venopathy/portal vein stenosis and incomplete septal fibrosis/cirrhosis. Since other conditions including alcohol-related and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or viral hepatitis, or the presence of portal vein thrombosis may occur in patients with PSVD, their relative contribution to liver damage should be carefully assessed. In addition to histology and clinical diagnostic criteria, imaging and non-invasive tests such as liver and spleen stiffness measurements could aid in the diagnostic workup. The introduction of PSVD as a novel clinical entity will facilitate collaborative studies and investigations into the underlying molecular pathomechanisms encompassed by this term.
Keywords: idiopathic noncirrhotic portal hypertension; incomplete septal fibrosis; nodular regenerative hyperplasia; obliterative portal venopathy; portal vein stenosis.
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