Although it has been known for nearly a century that acute obstruction of the portal vein, such as that produced by ligation or that occasionally occurring through thrombosis after biliary operations, is always followed in a short time by death, no satisfactory explanation of the fatal outcome has been offered. The first demonstration of the phenomenon is attributed to Oré,1 who, in 1856, discovered that ligation of the portal vein in rabbits resulted in the death of the animals in a short time. It is interesting that Claude Bernard2 at one time admitted a complete inability to offer an explanation, but several years later3 expressed the theory that exsanguination, by stasis of blood in the intestinal tract, with a consequent fatal anemia might account for death. However, he offered no proof of that supposition, nor was he aware that Tappenheimer4 had previously reported experiments which tended
ELMAN R, COLE WH. HEMORRHAGE AND SHOCK AS CAUSES OF DEATH FOLLOWING ACUTE PORTAL OBSTRUCTION. Arch Surg. 1934;28(6):1166–1175. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01170180168011
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