Nodular regenerative hyperplasia of the liver in hematologic disorders: a possible response to obliterative portal venopathy. A morphometric study of nine cases with an hypothesis on the pathogenesis

Medicine (Baltimore). 1980 Sep;59(5):367-79.


Nodular regenerative hyperplasia was found in nine patients who had hematological disease including polycythemia vera, agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, primary thrombocythemia, rheumatoid arthritis with thrombocytosis, multiple myeloma, and erythrocytosis associated with polycystic renal disease. Portal hypertension was suspected in three and features of hypersplenism were present in four. 2. Nodular regenerative hyperplasia occurred in livers which had widespread obliteration of portal vein radicals (obliterative portal venopathy). Morphometric analysis indicated that the portal vein lesions were predominately located in veins up to 0.2 mm in diameter and were significantly more frequent than similar lesions occurring in elderly persons. 3. The following pathogenesis of nodular regenerative hyperplasia is proposed: Thrombi, perhaps largely composed of platelet aggregates formed in the portal venous circulation or spleen, embolize to the liver and results in obliterative vascular lesions. Atrophy and regenerative nodule formation occur in response to the interruption of the portal blood supply.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Autopsy
  • Female
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications
  • Hematologic Diseases / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Polycythemia Vera / pathology
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / pathology
  • Thrombocytopenia / pathology