Portal vein gas, a changing clinical entity: Report of 7 patients and review of the literature

John J. Hong, Dominick Gadaleta, Peter Rossi, Jesus Esquivel, John Mihran Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the clinical significance of portal vein gas (PVG) demonstrated by computed tomography (CT). Design: Review of medical records. Setting: Three network-affiliated hospitals providing both primary community- based and tertiary services. Methods: Review of diagnosis, clinical circumstances, and significance of PVG in 7 patients detected by CT during a 3-year period in 3 affiliated hospitals. Results: Four of 7 patients underwent laparotomy; 1 patient refused surgery. Two patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics only and had uneventful clinical courses. Of the 3 patients who died, 1 refused and 2 underwent laparotomy. Conclusions: This series indicates that more sensitive imaging and more widespread use of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, colonoscopy, and liver transplantation have changed the clinical presentation of PVG; PVG may be found in various clinical settings that do not mandate laparotomy; and the significance of PVG must be derived from the clinical context of the individual patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1075
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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