PORTAL VEIN THROMBOSIS-ULTRASOUND IMAGING
Portal venous system, apart from the main portal vein, includes its tributaries: superior and inferior mesenteric vein, as well as splenic vein, so the term portal venous thrombosis encompasses a broad spectrum of pathological conditions. Usually, one or more causative factors can be recognized, either local endothelial/ flow disturbances, or systemic inherited /acquired conditions. Portal vein thrombosis can be associated with benign or malignant disorders. Weather we are speaking about acute or chronic thrombosis, the clinical presentation is different. Acute thrombosis can be presented in a wide range, from mild abdominal discomfort to a state of intestinal ischemia and life-threatening infarction. Chronic thrombosis is usually recognized when variceal bleeding or other symptoms of portal hypertension express. Fast and accurate diagnosis sometimes is a life-saving procedure, especially in acute vascular alterations. Recently, due to the improvement of imaging procedures the number of patients with diagnosed portal vein thrombosis is increasingly growing. With a negative predictive value of 98% color Doppler ultrasound is considered as imaging modality of choice in detecting portal vein thrombosis. Based on large studies it is presumed that overall risk of getting portal vein thrombosis during lifetime is 1% in general population, but much bigger 5%-15% in cirrhotic patients. Existence of specific ultrasound criteria, if fulfilled, has ensured that diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis is fast and non-invasive. Procedure is convenient for the patient and healthcare providers, and above all, allows prompt treatment preventing further deterioration.
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