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Portal Hypertension (cont.)

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What are the complications of portal hypertension?

The complications of portal hypertension are the complications of liver failure. These include gastrointestinal bleeding from varices, ascites and hepatic encephalopathy. Splenomegaly can also cause anemia , low white blood cell counts, and low platelet counts.

Can portal hypertension be prevented?

Some liver diseases due to inborn errors of metabolism like copper and iron cannot be prevented. The same can be said with congenital anatomy problems. However, when liver disease is due to alcohol and drug abuse, prevention is a real possibility. Chronic alcoholism can lead to cirrhosis and portal hypertension. IV drug abuse can be the cause of hepatitis B and C, resulting in cirrhosis.

What is the prognosis for portal hypertension?

Portal hypertension is a complication of an underlying liver disease. It is a disease that can be controlled but requires patients to be compliant with dietary restrictions and to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Survival rates can be quite high as long as some liver function is maintained. The worse the liver function, the worse the prognosis

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Garcia-Tsao G, Lim JK; Management and treatment of patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension: Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jul;104(7):1802-29.

Ponziani FR, Zocco MA, Campanale C, et al; Portal vein thrombosis: insight into physiopathology, diagnosis, and treatment. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 14;16(2):143-55.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/6/2016



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