The pathologic increase in the pressure gradient between portal vein and inferior venacava is called portal hypertension. Increased portal blood flow and increased resistance in the portal venous system cause portal hypertension. The structural components and the functional components contribute to the resistance. Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) reflects the degree of portal pressure in liver disease. HVPG is calculated as the difference between the wedged hepatic venous pressure (WHVP) and the free hepatic venous pressure (FHVP). Clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH) is defined as HVPG ≥10. Different values of HVPG have been defined as threshold for different consequences of portal hypertension. Variceal hemorrhage, portal hypertensive gastropathy, ascites, colopathy, biliopathy and hepatopulmonary syndrome are main complications of portal hypertension. Besides nonselective beta blockers, other drugs like statins, antioxidants, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic drugs have also been seen to be effective in reducing portal pressure.
Part of the book: Portal Hypertension