Hepatic portal venous gas (HPVG) has been considered a rare entity associated with a grave prognosis. Since 1978, when Liebman et al reviewed 64 cases of HPVG and reported a mortality of 75%, the number of reported cases has been increasing.
Patients and Methods
We reviewed the literature on 182 cases of HPVG in adults, including 4 of our patients, (transplantation and abdominal trauma cases were excluded) and analyzed the cause, pathogenesis, and clinical features.
In this series, the underlying clinical events associated with HPVG were bowel necrosis (43%), digestive tract dilatation (12%), intraperitoneal abscess (11%), ulcerative colitis (4%), gastric ulcer (4%), Crohn disease (4%), complications of endoscopic procedures (4%), intraperitoneal tumor (3%), and other (15%). The overall mortality was 39% but varied depending on the underlying disease.
Hepatic portal venous gas is a lethal or curable entity caused by various diseases. The underlying disease associated with HPVG determines the clinical features and prognosis of the patients. The treatment of patients with HPVG should be directed to the underlying disease.