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South Med J. 2010 Sep;103(9):956-9. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181e63504.

Acute pylephlebitis following gastrointestinal infection: an unrecognized cause of septic shock.

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Liver Unit, Institut Clinic de Malaties Digestives I Metabòliques, Hospital Clinic i Provincial, Barcelona, Spain.


Pylephlebitis is the septic thrombosis of the portal vein. Hypercoagulability and intra-abdominal sepsis are the main predisposing factors. A 25-year-old man presented to a primary health care center complaining of fever, epigastric pain, and jaundice. He was initially diagnosed with a gastrointestinal infection and alcoholic hepatitis and, due to his unstable clinical status, was referred to the emergency room. A diagnosis of acute pylephlebitis complicated with septic shock was made. Treatment with a wide-spectrum antibiotic and anticoagulation was initiated. Fifteen days later, recanalization of the portal vein was achieved and clinical status was improved. Pylephlebitis following gastrointestinal infection is a potential cause of septic shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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