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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultrasonic evaluation of portosystemic collateral circulation in portal hypertension.

The aim of the study was to evaluate portosystemic collateral circulation in relation to (1)individual etiological groups of portal hypertension., (2) Presence and size of esophageal varices, (3) esophageal sclerotherapy and (4) ascites. A prospective study of 101 patients of portal hypertension was carried out. Patients were divided into 4 etiological groups: Alcoholic cirrhosis ( ALD) (38), Non-alcoholic cirrhosis (NALD) (35), non cirrhotic portal fibrosis (NCPF) (14) and extrahepatic portal vein obstruction (EHPVO) (14). Esophageal varices were assessed and graded endoscopically into 3 categories: no varix, small varices and large varices. Evaluation of portosystemic collateral circulation, other than esophageal varices was done ultrasonically. "Other" portosystemic collaterals (lienorenal, gastrorenal, dilated paraumbilical and umbilical veins, paraduodenal and gall bladdes varices) were seen in 26 out of 101 patients and more commonly in the non-cirrhotic groups (50%) [NCPF: 57.14%, EHPVO: 42.86%] than in the cirrhotic group (16.44%) [ ALD: 13.5%, NALD: 20%]. Gall bladder varices were the only form of ectopic (extra esophagogastric) varices visualised with an overall incidence of 3.96%. Collateral shunts were seen more frequently in patients without varices (100%), than in patients with small varices (34.88%) or large varices (7.84%), and in patients having undergone esophageal sclerotherapy (57.14%). Collateral circulation did not contribute to the development of ascites. 37 patients with ascites did not have collateral shunts. We conclude portosystmic circulation plays a decompressive role in portal hypertension and prevents formation of esophageal varices or prevents them from increasing in size. It is seen more frequently in noncirrhotic patients and in those having undergone sclerotherapy and does not contribute to development of ascites.[1]


  1. Ultrasonic evaluation of portosystemic collateral circulation in portal hypertension. Sheth, S.G., Amarapurkar, D.N., Chopra, K.B., Mani, S.A., Mehta, P.J. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India. (1996) [Pubmed]
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