THE normally obliterated umbilical vein in adults was until recently a medical curiosity and its proper name "ligamentum teres hepatis" was more familiar to anatomists. Clinicians seldom consider this an important structure in the adult except in the relatively rare instances of Cruveilhier-Baumgarten's syndrome, when the venous hum is of diagnostic interest.
In 1964, Bayly and Gonzales1 reported that the obliterated umbilical vein was amenable to dilatation and could provide a relatively simple direct avenue to the portal system. They documented the usefulness of the umbilical vein in portography and measurement of portal pressure and postulated its value in therapy and research. Since that time, considerable interest in this structure has developed, and several authors2-4 have verified the usefulness of the umbilical vein in portography, chemotherapy, and possibly portal vein decompression.
In our laboratories, a research program has been in progress for 18 months which is designed to