We report the case of a 30-year-old male patient suffering from what was initially thought to be end-stage cryptogenic cirrhosis with portal hypertension and liver failure, who underwent liver transplantation. Histological examination of the surgical specimen showed incomplete septal cirrhosis. At the age of 17 this patient had presented pancytopenia and splenomegaly, which were treated by splenectomy. The surgeon discovered portal hypertension. Re-examination of the wedge liver biopsy taken at this time revealed features of idiopathic portal hypertension. This case clearly shows that incomplete septal cirrhosis may be a late manifestation of idiopathic portal hypertension. The presence of sinusoidal dilatation and peliosis as well as early evidence of fibrosis which are already visible on the initial biopsy and are still present on the late specimen, are indirect evidence of a continuous process which ultimately led to incomplete cirrhosis with liver failure.