[Splenic size and duplex sonography determination of blood flow in the vena lienalis and vena portae in liver cirrhosis].Bildgebung. 1992 Jun; 59(2):80-3.B
Splenomegaly is a common finding in patients with portal hypertension. In the present study the relation between spleen size and blood flow in the splenic and portal vein was evaluated in 33 patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension using pulsed Doppler sonography (Ultramark 9, ATL, Solingen, FRG). There was a significant positive correlation between hilar spleen diameter (HD) and splenic vein diameter (r = .73, p less than .001) as expected as the consequence of portal hypertension. However, a positive correlation between HD and splenic vein flow (SBF) was found (r = .67, p less than .001). Furthermore, there was no negative correlation between HD and flow velocity in the splenic vein (r = .01, n.s.). Portal blood flow (830 +/- 360 ml/min) was fairly constant in spite of considerable variations in SBF (range: 120 to 1200 ml/min). The data of the present study indicate that splenomegaly in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension is not simply the consequence of portal congestion resulting in decreased SBF. Rather, increased SBF serves to maintain portal blood flow and thereby contributes to portal hypertension. In few patients (15%) SBF increased to more than 11/min may be an important factor for the severity of portal hypertension. Surgical shunt treatment should be adjusted in these patients.