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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 672986, 6 pages
Review Article

Management of Anticoagulation for Portal Vein Thrombosis in Individuals with Cirrhosis: A Systematic Review

Liver Unit, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H2X 3J4

Received 28 March 2012; Accepted 9 May 2012

Academic Editor: Averell Sherker

Copyright © 2012 Geneviève Huard and Marc Bilodeau. 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.


Non-neoplastic portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is an increasingly recognized complication of liver cirrhosis. It is often diagnosed fortuitously and can be either partial or complete. The clinical significance of PVT is not obvious except in some situations such as when patients are on the waiting list for liver transplantation. The only known therapy is anticoagulation which has been shown to permit the disappearance of thrombosis and to prevent further extension. Anticoagulation is a challenging therapy in individuals with liver cirrhosis because of the well-recognized coagulation abnormalities observed in that setting and because of the increased risk of bleeding, especially from gastrointestinal tract caused by portal hypertension. We herein review the current knowledge on that topic in order to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the currently proposed therapeutic attitudes in face of the diagnosis of PVT in individuals with cirrhosis.