Portal hypertension is when pressure builds in the veins that bring blood to the liver. The pressure causes blood to back up into other smaller blood vessels, such as those found in the esophagus. This leads to varices.
This may happen due to:
Blood clots of the splenic, portal, or hepatic veins
Abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the liver or spleen
de Franchis R, Baveno VI Faculty. Expanding consensus in portal hypertension: Report of the Baveno VI Consensus Workshop: Stratifying risk and individualizing care for portal hypertension. J Hepatol. 2015 Sep;63(3):743-752.
Esophageal varices. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/esophageal-varices. Accessed October 21, 2020.
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