Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 759–762 | Cite as

Acute Portal Vein Thrombosis Predicts Concomitant Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Cirrhotic Patients

  • Tawfik KhouryEmail author
  • Muhammad Massarwa
  • Wadi Hazou
  • Saleh Daher
  • David Hakimian
  • Ariel A. Benson
  • Toni Ashqar
  • Mahmud Mahamid
  • Shaul Yaari
Original Research



Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a common condition in cirrhotic patients and mostly attributed to portal hypertension. The objective of our study was to examine the association of PVT with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhotic patients.


A retrospective study was performed to identify cirrhotic patients with thrombosis of the portal system. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were collected and analyzed.


Thirty-nine patients were identified. Twenty-four out of 39 patients with PVT did not develop HCC (group A) after follow-up time of 38.5 months from the diagnosis of PVT. Eight patients (20.5%) were diagnosed with HCC within two weeks following diagnosis of PVT (group B). Seven patients (17.9%) were diagnosed with tumor thrombus (group C) at time of PVT diagnosis. The average age was 53.5, 66.5, and 69 years for groups A, B, and C respectively. Most patients (75 and 87.5% for groups B and C respectively) diagnosed with PVT and HCC were males. The most common cause of cirrhosis in groups B and C was chronic hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) in 62.5% and 50% respectively. The most common clinical presentation of PVT in group A was abdominal pain in 55.5% compared to new/worsening ascites in 43% and 37.5% for groups B and C respectively. The platelet count in groups B and C was higher as compared to that in group A (126 and 125 vs. 107 thousand, P = NS).


In 38.4% of cases, new diagnosis of PVT was associated with concomitant diagnosis of HCC. Identifiable risk factors were chronic HBV infection and higher platelet count.


Portal vein thrombosis Cirrhosis Hepatocellular carcinoma HBV infection 



Portal vein thrombosis


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Model for end-stage liver disease


Hepatitis B virus


Hepatitis C virus


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis


Doppler ultrasonography


Computed tomography


Venous thromboembolism


International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems


Magnetic resonance imaging


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tawfik Khoury
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Muhammad Massarwa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wadi Hazou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Saleh Daher
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Hakimian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ariel A. Benson
    • 1
    • 4
  • Toni Ashqar
    • 1
  • Mahmud Mahamid
    • 5
  • Shaul Yaari
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Department of Internal MedicineHebrew University-Hadassah Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.The Liver Unit, Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Division of Internal MedicineHebrew University-Hadassah Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.The Liver Unit, Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver DiseasesHebrew University-Hadassah Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  4. 4.Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver DiseasesHebrew University-Hadassah Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  5. 5.Gastroenterology and Endoscopy UnitedThe Nazareth Hospital, EMMSNazarethIsrael

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