Portal hypertension - Definition

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Portal hypertension refers to an increase of the pressure in the portal vein. Portal hypertension is mainly due to a blockage of the flow within the liver, particularly in the context of cirrhosis, or a blockage of circulation in the portal vein, which is possible in case of thrombosis of this vein. It is manifested by the exaggerated appearance of the superficial veins in the abdomen, called collateral venous circulation, the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen called ascitis, or the increase in the size of the spleen or splenomegaly. In addition, it is responsible for the formation of esophageal varices, whose failure can cause serious gastrointestinal bleeding. The varices should be anticipated using beta blocker drugs or intervening surgically mainly through ligation.