• Data on 126 consecutive patients who were admitted to our clinics from January 1979 to May 1989 were scrutinized to assess changes in portal hemodynamics following splenectomy. Two groups were classified: (1) a group of 106 patients with cirrhosis of the liver and (2) a group of 20 patients with idiopathic portal hypertension (IPH). Portal thrombosis was present in five (25.0%) of the 20 patients with IPH and in two (1.8%) of the 106 patients with cirrhosis of the liver. As seen on celiac arteriography, the mean (± SD) diameter of the trunk of the splenic artery and vein was 8.99±1.55 and 16.2±3.6 mm, respectively, in patients with IPH, while it was 7.94±1.28 and 14.2±3.1 mm, respectively, in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. Changes in portal venous pressure were 78.4±59.4 mm H2O in patients with IPH and 43.5 ±38.7 mm H2O in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. There were no significant differences in the maximum level of thrombocytes in patients with IPH or in those patients with cirrhosis of the liver. These events suggest that portal thrombosis can occur with a significantly higher incidence in patients with IPH than in those patients with cirrhosis of the liver after splenectomy, and a decrease in blood flow in the portal vein may be closely linked to the formation of portal thrombosis after splenectomy in patients with IPH. Preoperative examination of portal hemodynamics must be thorough.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:752-755)