IN REVIEWING the literature on the anatomy of the extrahepatic portal system in the light of present day surgical procedures for the relief of portal hypertension, we were able to find little information on the length and caliber of the major vessels making up the extrahepatic portal systems.1 In the performance of anastomoses between the portal system and the systemic circulation, it is important that the vessels used should have sufficient caliber to be able to transport enough blood in a given time to relieve the hypertension in the portal system. Because there is so little known about the length of these veins in the average person and because there is virtually nothing recorded in the literature concerning the caliber of the veins that are available for these anastomoses, this study was undertaken.
Since the study was begun, Douglass, Baggenstoss and Hollinshead,2 of the Mayo Clinic, have reported
PURCELL HK, CONNOR JJ, ALEXANDER WF, SCULLY NM. OBSERVATIONS ON THE MAJOR RADICLES OF THE EXTRAHEPATIC PORTAL SYSTEMS. AMA Arch Surg. 1951;62(5):670–677. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1951.01250030680007