Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - nontumor
Vascular disorders
Portal hypertension

Author: Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 7 February 2018, last major update January 2018

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Portal hypertension[TI] liver[TI] free full text[sb]pathology

Cite this page: Gonzalez, R. S. Portal hypertension. website. Accessed March 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Increased blood pressure within portal venous system
Essential features
  • Causes are numerous and can be divided into prehepatic, intrahepatic and post hepatic
  • Cirrhosis is most common cause
  • Patients without cirrhosis typically are labeled with "noncirrhotic portal hypertension"
Clinical features
  • Clinical complications include ascites, portosystemic venous shunts (hemorrhoidal veins, esophageal varices, etc.), congestive splenomegaly, hepatic encephalopathy
  • Gold standard is measurement of hepatic venous pressure gradient via portal vein catheterization
  • Ultrasound is noninvasive and can detect signs of portal hypertension
Microscopic (histologic) description
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:
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Idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension

Board review question #1
    A patient is found to have portal hypertension in the absence of cirrhosis. Considering the most common overall cause of noncirrhotic portal hypertension, which of the following is most likely to be seen on liver biopsy?

  1. Herniated portal veins
  2. Mastocytosis
  3. Nodular hepatocyte parenchyma
  4. Parasite eggs
  5. Sinusoidal fibrosis
Board review answer #1
D. Parasite eggs: Schistosomiasis is the most common cause of noncirrhotic portal hypertension in the world