Vascular Disease of
Back to Library
Blood is supplied to the liver via both
arterial (hepatic artery) and portal venous circulations.
It leaves the liver after passing through the sinusoids by the central and
hepatic veins that
enter the inferior vena cava. As each vascular component of the liver may be
affected by disease,
there are several distinct clinical and pathological syndromes.
Right-sided heart failure causes passive venous congestion of the liver
Right-sided cardiac failure causes back-pressure in the systemic venous system,
which is transmitted
back down the hepatic vein to the central veins, causing mild increase in
hepatic size. This
is particularly seen in tricuspid valve incompetence, when the liver is
pulsatile. The macroscopic
appearance is described as nutmeg liver, properly called chronic passive venous
The centrilobular sinusoids are dilated by blood, and the centrilobular
hepatocytes are atrophic.
If arterial hypo-tension complicates the right-sided cardiac failure, necrosis
of the centrilobular
hepatocytes may occur, with elevation of serum transaminase levels.
Chronic passive venous congestion of the liver causes dark areas where
are congested by blood, contrasting with pale periportal areas. This appearance
is similar to
that of the cut surface of a nutmeg, hence the term 'nutmeg liver'.
The most common causes of portal hypertension are diseases of the liver
Post-sinusoidal portal hypertension is caused by disease of hepatic veins...
Portal hypertension is caused by obstruction of blood flow in the portal system
Portal hypertension is a continued elevation in portal venous pressure. This
in the portal vascular bed, leading to splenomegaly and ascites. New channels
open up between the portal
system and systemic venous system, taking the form of varicose venous channels.
The main sites
are the lower oesophagus, where oesophageal varices arise and may cause
the umbilicus, where the channels are called 'caput medusae'; and the anus,
are known as haemorrhoids.
The causes of portal hypertension are best considered on an anatomical basis,
to the site of obstruction to flow.
• Pre-sinusoidal: blockage of vessels before the hepaticsinusoids.
• Sinusoidal: blockage in the sinusoids.
• Post-sinusoidal: blockage in the central veins, hepatic veins or vena cava.
The three main groups of causes for portal hypertension are:
• Post sinusoidal
Presinusoidal portal hypertension is most often caused by portal vein
Occlusion of the portal venous system at a point before the portal tracts is
due to portal vein thrombosis. Predisposing factors are local sepsis,
and pre-existing sinusoidal portal hypertension due to cirrhosis.
Occlusion of intrahepatic branches causes areas of venous infarction, which are
as congested zones with a wedge-shaped pattern.
Such areas are also termed red infarcts or Zahn infarcts.
Interested in translating health topics to somali language!
We give here simplified and accurate information about the disease
DISCLAIMER: This website is provided for
general information and it's run by medical students for medical students only
and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We are not responsible
or liable for any diagnosis or action made by a user based on the content of
this website. We are not liable for the contents of any external websites
listed, nor do we endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised
on any of the sites. Always consult your own doctor if you are in any way
concerned about your health