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The “streamline phenomenon” of the portal vein flow and its influence on liver involvement by gastrointestinal diseases: current concepts and imaging-based review


The streamline flow in the portal system is a phenomenon by which blood from superior mesenteric vein goes preferentially to the right hepatic lobe, while splenic and inferior mesenteric veins divert preferentially to the left lobe. Such a phenomenon results in different patterns of distribution of several liver diseases. The purpose of this article is to discuss the concepts behind the theory of streamline flow and to perform an imaging-based review of representative cases, demonstrating how it may influence the patterns of liver involvement in different gastrointestinal diseases.

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(Source: Meeting (confluence) of the Waters, Manaus, Brazil. License: CC BY 3.0 BR)

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Correspondence to Ulysses S. Torres.

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de Araujo, E.M., Torres, U.S., Racy, D.J. et al. The “streamline phenomenon” of the portal vein flow and its influence on liver involvement by gastrointestinal diseases: current concepts and imaging-based review. Abdom Radiol 45, 403–415 (2020).

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  • Streamline
  • Liver
  • Portal vein
  • Hemodynamics
  • Vascular imaging