A retrospective review by Dr. Maldonado and coinvestigators of 80 noncirrhotic patients with MVT managed at New York University raised a red flag regarding the high risk of portal hypertension as a long-term sequela. At a median follow-up of 480 days, fully half of patients with imaging results available displayed radiographic features of portal hypertension, although as yet none had developed frank clinical manifestations of cirrhosis.
The investigators identified two predictors of portal hypertension. One was complete as opposed to partial thrombosis at the initial event. Complete thrombosis was present in 73% of patients who eventually developed portal hypertension, compared with 43% of those who didn’t. The other predictor was lack of successful recanalization: only 37% of patients who developed portal hypertension were successfully recanalized, compared with a 65% recanalization rate in those who remained free of this long-term complication).
These observations raise the possibility that initial complete thrombosis of the mesenteric vein and nonrecanalization with medical therapy might tip the balance in favor of endovascular lytic therapy as a potential means of preventing later portal hypertension.
“I don’t think we know the answer, but there’s certainly room for research,” Dr. Maldonado observed.
He reported having no financial conflicts regarding his presentation.