What is portal hypertension?

Portal hypertension is one complication of cirrhosis. The portal vein runs between the liver and the intestines. It can develop high blood pressure, or hypertension, in someone who has cirrhosis. Portal hypertension happens because blood cannot flow easily through the scar tissue in a liver affected by cirrhosis. Portal hypertension can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, and is treated with blood pressure medication or, in some cases, a stent in the portal vein.
Portal hypertension is increased blood pressure in the liver's portal vein, a major vein that transports blood from the stomach to the liver, large and small intestines, spleen, gallbladder, and pancreas. High blood pressure or hypertension in this vein is most often caused by cirrhosis. Other causes include blood clots in this vein, and schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection common in Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, southern China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and a few countries in the Caribbean.

Continue Learning about Hypertension



Clinically known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause a host of problems if left untreated. The most common type of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure causes our hearts to work harder by forcing blood to push ag...

ainst the walls of our arteries at an elevated level. Hypertension is the leading cause of strokes and heart attack. It also increases your risk of having heart and kidney failure and hardening of the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis.

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