Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 10, Issue 6, Pages 357-364

Extrahepatic Portal Hypertension following Liver Transplantation: a Rare but Challenging Problem

1Clinique Chirurgicale, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France
2Service de Radiologie, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France

Received 25 May 1996; Accepted 22 May 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study reports our experience of 8 cases of extrahepatic portal hypertension after 273 orthotopic liver transplantations in 244 adult patients over a 10- year period. The main clinical feature was ascites, and the life-threatening complication was variceal bleeding. Extrahepatic portal hypertension was caused by portal vein stenosis in 6 patients, and left-sided portal hypertension in 2 patients after inadventent ligation of portal venous tributaries or portasystemic shunts. All patients with portal vein stenosis had complete relief of portal hypertension after percutaneous transhepatic venoplasty (n=4) or surgical reconstruction (n=2), after a median follow-up of 33 (range: 6–62) months. Of the 2 patients with left-sided portal hypertension, one died after splenectomy and one rebled 6 months after left colectomy. This study suggests that extrahepatic portal hypertension is a series complication after liver transplantation that could be prevented by meticulous portal anastomosis and closure of portal tributaries or portasystemic shunts to improve the portal venous flow. However, any ligation has to be performed under ultrasound guidance to avoid inadventent venous ligations.