March 1993

Acute Thrombosis of the Splanchnic Veins

Author Affiliations

From the Clinic for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Inselspital, University of Bern (Switzerland). Dr Gertsch is now with the Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(3):341-345. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420150101018

• The consequence of an acute thrombosis in the splanchnic veins on the viability of the intestine has not been well defined in the literature. Spontaneous recovery or total necrosis of the bowel have both been described. We treated seven patients with thrombosis of the splanchnic veins and adopted a surgical approach in three patients with extended and complete thrombosis of the superior mesenteric vein, portal vein, and splenic vein, while four patients with partial thrombosis of the superior mesenteric vein or portal vein recovered with conservative treatment. A 22-year literature review has identified 64 cases of acute thrombosis in the splanchnic veins, with complete information regarding the location and extent of the thrombosis, the treatment, and the outcome. Different anatomical patterns of thrombosis with mortality rates varying between 0% and 76% seem to be related to the extent and completeness of venous obstruction.

(Arch Surg. 1993;128:341-345)