Arteriovenous fistula and forward hypertension in the portal circulation

Angiology. 1978 May;29(5):367-73. doi: 10.1177/000331977802900503.


The notorious predilection for rupture of splenic artery aneurysms in women of childbearing age is once more stressed by this case report. Although such ruptures usually result in a catastrophic interabdominal bleeding, in rare instances they lead to the formation of an arteriovenous fistula and consequent portal hypertension. Arterialization of the portal vein results in a progressive development of intrinsic hepatic morphologic changes and hepatoportal sclerosis, which further elevate the pressure in the portal system. This combination of pathophysiologic hemodynamic features closely resembles the original concept of Banti. He postulated that portal hypertension began with pathologic changes within the spleen which were associated with an increased blood flow through this organ. This led to increased flow and pressure in the portal venous system and ultimately cumulated in cirrhosis of the liver. This concept of the pathophysiology of portal hypertension has been universally abandoned, but it could serve as a model of the sequelae of an arteriovenous communication within the portal system.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm / complications
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / complications*
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / etiology
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / pathology
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / etiology*
  • Hypertension, Portal / pathology
  • Hypertension, Portal / physiopathology
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Splenic Artery* / pathology
  • Splenic Vein* / pathology