Portal vein thrombosis – a primer for the general physician

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Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is thrombosis of the portal ­circulation, which may present with varied symptoms. However, increased use of abdominal imaging has noted a large number of incidental PVT. At the same time, PVT may be overlooked in the absence of the characteristic symptoms. More recently, a JAK2 mutation has been recognised as a cause of PVT. Anticoagulation is the mainstay of treatment, but can pose a dilemma because of the associated coagulopathy, the presence of varices and thrombocytopenia.

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