Portal vein aneurysm: What to know

Andrea Laurenzi, Giuseppe Maria Ettorre, Raffaella Lionetti, Roberto Luca Meniconi, Marco Colasanti, Giovanni Vennarecci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Portal vein aneurysm is an unusual vascular dilatation of the portal vein, which was first described by Barzilai and Kleckner in 1956 and since then less than 200 cases have been reported.The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the international literature to better clarify various aspects of this rare nosological entity and provide clear evidence-based summary, when available, of the clinical and surgical management.A systematic literature search of the Pubmed database was performed for all articles related to portal vein aneurysm. All articles published from 1956 to 2014 were examined for a total of 96 reports, including 190 patients.Portal vein aneurysm is defined as a portal vein diameter exceeding 1.9. cm in cirrhotic patients and 1.5. cm in normal livers. It can be congenital or acquired and portal hypertension represents the main cause of the acquired version. Surgical indication is considered in case of rupture, thrombosis or symptomatic aneurysms. Aneurysmectomy and aneurysmorrhaphy are considered in patients with normal liver, while shunt procedures or liver transplantation are the treatment of choice in case of portal hypertension. Being such a rare vascular entity its management should be reserved to high-volume tertiary hepato-biliary centres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-923
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Portal vein aneurysm
  • Portal vein dilatation
  • Visceral venous aneurysm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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