The portal vein in patients with cirrhosis is not an excessively inflammatory or hypercoagulable vascular bed, a prospective cohort study

Ellen G. Driever, Marta Magaz, Jelle Adelmeijer, Fanny Turon, Anna Baiges, Pol Olivas, Valeria Perez-Campuzano, Virginia Hernandez-Gea, Annabel Blasi, Juan-Carlos Garcia-Pagan, Ton Lisman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background A hypercoagulable state is not associated with development of portal vein thrombosis in cirrhosis, as we previously demonstrated. However, some groups demonstrated elevated levels of inflammatory markers and activation of hemostasis in the portal vein (PV) compared to posthepatic veins, but because the liver is involved in clearance of these markers, we hypothesize that interpretation of these data is not straightforward. Aim To determine whether the PV has particular proinflammatory/hypercoagulable characteristics by comparing plasma sampled in the PV, hepatic vein (HV), and the systemic circulation. Methods Plasma samples from 51 cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension undergoing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement, were taken from the PV, HV, and jugular vein (JV). Markers of inflammation (lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances), neutrophil-extracellular-traps (cfDNA, MPO-DNA), endothelial damage (von Willebrand factor [VWF]), and hemostasis were determined and compared among the three vascular beds. Results Markers of inflammation were slightly, but significantly higher in the PV than in the HV and systemic circulation. VWF and markers of hemostasis were modestly elevated in the PV. Levels of multiple markers were lower in the HV compared with the PV and systemic circulation. Higher model for end-stage liver disease score was associated with a more prothrombotic state in all three sample sites. Conclusion In contrast to published studies, we did not detect a clear proinflammatory or prothrombotic environment in the PV of cirrhotic patients. Many markers are lowest in the HV, indicating that the low levels of these markers in the HV, at least in part, reflect clearance of those markers in the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2075-2082
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number9
Early online date11-Jul-2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2022


  • cirrhosis
  • coagulation
  • inflammation
  • portal vein thrombosis

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