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Gastroenterology. 1987 Mar;92(3):751-8.

Portal hemodynamics in idiopathic portal hypertension (Banti's syndrome). Comparison with chronic persistent hepatitis and normal subjects.


A comparative study of portal hemodynamics was made in 17 patients with idiopathic portal hypertension, 5 patients with chronic persistent hepatitis having no portal hypertension, and 21 healthy adults who served as the control for certain measurements. Venous pressures were measured by portal and hepatic vein catheterizations, blood flow by the pulsed Doppler flowmeter, organ volume by computed tomography, and intrahepatic shunt index by 99mTc-macroaggregated albumin instilled in the portal vein. The patients with idiopathic portal hypertension were divided into two groups: group A (n = 8) and group B (n = 9), consisting of those who respectively had portal venous flow per liver volume above and below the mean + 2 SD of healthy adults. In group A, portal vein pressure was moderately elevated, portal venous flow was significantly increased compared with the control, and portal vascular resistance was not much altered. In group B, portal vein pressure was markedly elevated above that of control, portal venous flow was comparable, and portal vascular resistance was significantly elevated. Splenic venous flow measured in the splenic vein between the left and short gastric veins was markedly increased in groups A and B, the increase being greater in the former. It was concluded that in some patients with idiopathic portal hypertension, increased portal venous flow, partly a result of increased splenic venous flow secondary to splenomegaly of an undetermined process, is the main contributor initially to the elevation of portal vein pressure; in others, possibly later, increased portal vascular resistance plays an important role.

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