Hamostaseologie 2024; 44(02): 135-142
DOI: 10.1055/a-2178-6670
Review Article

Diagnosis and Therapy of Visceral Vein Thrombosis: An Update Based on the Revised AWMF S2k Guideline

Katja S. Mühlberg
1   Department of Angiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
› Author Affiliations


Splanchnic or visceral vein thromboses (VVTs) are atypical thrombotic entities and include thrombosis of the portal vein, hepatic veins (Budd-Chiari syndrome), mesenteric veins, and splenic vein. All VVTs have in common high 30-day mortality up to 20% and it seems to be difficult to diagnose VVT early because of their rarity and their wide spectrum of unspecific symptoms. VVTs are often associated with myeloproliferative neoplasia, thrombophilia, and liver cirrhosis. VVT is primarily diagnosed by sonography and/or computed tomography. In contrast to venous thromboembolism, D-dimer testing is neither established nor helpful. Anticoagulation is the first-line therapy in patients with stable circulation and no evidence of organ complications. Anticoagulation improves significantly recanalization rates and stops the progress of thrombosis. Low-molecular-weight heparin, vitamin K antagonists, as well as direct-acting oral anticoagulants are possible anticoagulants, but it is noteworthy to be aware that all recommendations supporting the off-label use of anticoagulants are based on poor evidence and consist predominantly of case series, observational studies, or studies with small case numbers. When choosing a suitable anticoagulation, the individual risk of bleeding and thrombosis must be weighted very carefully. In cases of bleeding, bowel infarction, or other complications, the optimal therapy should be determined on a case-by-case basis by an experienced multidisciplinary team involving a surgeon. Besides anticoagulation, there are therapeutic options including thrombectomy, balloon angioplasty, stenting, transjugular placement of an intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, liver transplantation, and ischemic bowel resection. This article gives an overview of current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Publication History

Received: 12 July 2023

Accepted: 22 September 2023

Article published online:
22 November 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
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