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Clin Liver Dis. 2006 Aug;10(3):563-81, ix.

Pharmacologic therapy of portal hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Portal hypertension is a progressively debilitating complication of cirrhosis and a principal cause of mortality in patients who have hepatic decompensation. During the last few decades, significant clinical advances in the prevention of initial variceal hemorrhage, the management of acute variceal hemorrhage, and the prevention of recurrent variceal hemorrhage have reduced the morbidity and mortality of this lethal complication of cirrhosis. This article discusses the pharmacologic treatment of portal hypertension, including preprimary prophylaxis, prevention of a first variceal hemorrhage, treatment of acute variceal hemorrhage, and secondary prophylaxis of a variceal hemorrhage.

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