Splenectomy is a risk factor for both portal-vein and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The underlying mechanism is unclear, but may involve a hypercoagulable state.Methods:
We describe 1 patient with polycythemia vera who developed extensive portal thrombosis of the portal, suprahepatic, and inferior cava veins, leading to right heart thromboembolism, with a resultant pulmonary embolism subsequent to splenectomy despite heparin prophylaxis.Results:
In this patient, several mechanisms may have played a role, including perioperative stress, thrombocytosis, thrombophilia, and associated chronic liver disease. Nevertheless, combined treatment with intravenous heparin and thrombolysis and the myeloproliferative inhibitor hydroxyurea was associated with a favorable outcome.Conclusion:
The risk of pulmonary thromboembolic complications and their management after splenectomies for hematologic disease warrant further study.