Purpose: To assess the accuracy of magnetic resonance (MR) angiography for evaluating portal vein patency in candidates for liver transplantation.
Materials and methods: MR angiography was performed in the main portal vein and proximal confluence of the portal vein in 102 candidates for liver transplantation (64 male patients and 38 female patients aged 8 months to 74 years; mean age, 47 years). The MR angiographic results were compared with the surgical and histologic findings in the explanted liver and excised main portal vein.
Results: MR angiography depicted 10 portal vein clots, all of which were confirmed at transplantation. Ninety-two portal veins were patent at MR angiography, a finding that was confirmed at transplantation. One tiny chronic clot in a small, intrahepatic branch of the portal vein was not seen at MR angiography or transplantation. It was identified at histologic analysis of the explanted liver.
Conclusion: MR angiography is accurate in the evaluation of portal vein patency.