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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2001 Jul;27(7):901-7.

Noninvasive grading of the severity of portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients by echo-color-Doppler.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.


The possibility of estimating portal hypertension combining splenic Doppler pulsatility index (PI), which has been shown strictly to be related to portal resistance, and portal blood flow (PBF) was evaluated. Hepatic venous pressure gradient, and splanchnic Doppler parameters were measured in 40 cirrhotic patients. A formula to assess the severity of portal hypertension from Doppler parameters was calculated in a training group of 19 patients, and then this formula was tested to prospectively predict the degree of portal pressure in 21 further patients. In the training group, the regression of portal resistance over splenic PI was calculated and individual values of estimated portal resistance were obtained for every patient of the test group. From them and from observed values of PBF, an estimated value of portal pressure was calculated. The following formula was obtained [(0.066*splenic PI -0.044)*PBF]. In the second group, predicted and observed portal pressure were well correlated (r = 0.71, p = .0003). A good accuracy for the prediction of mild or severe portal hypertension was obtained.

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