Abstract Introduction: Portal hypertension results from increased resistance to the portal blood flow. The ultrasound represents a noninvasive tool for assessing the structural and hemodynamic abnormalities in this condition. Objectives: The assessment of the hemodynamic blood flow of the liver and spleen by using Doppler ultrasound in patients with portal hypertension compared with healthy subjects and to identify correlations with the severity of liver cirrhosis and esophageal varices. Materials and Method: This study included 50 patients with liver cirrhosis and 20 healthy subjects as controls. Different correlations were carried out between hemodynamic variables obtained from the Doppler examination and the severity of cirrhosis as assessed by the Child score and the degree of esophageal varices at endoscopy. Results: The portal vein diameter was larger in cirrhotic patients compared with the control group. The mean portal vein velocity and the blood flow were significantly lower in advanced forms of liver cirrhosis. The portal vein congestion index, the pulsatility and resistivity indexes of the hepatic artery were significantly increased in patients with CHILD B and C cirrhosis compared with the control group and patients in CHILD class A. There were no statistically significant differences between the pulsatility and resistivity indexes of the splenic artery in patients with cirrhosis. The liver vascular index was significantly lower in patients with advanced cirrhosis. Conclusions: The ultrasound is a valuable noninvasive tool for cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension. However, it is not sufficiently accurate in differentiating between different classes of cirrhosis or degrees of esophageal varices.
ARS Medica Tomitana – de Gruyter
Published: May 1, 2016