Relationship between portopulmonary hypertension and splenectomy: Mayo Clinic experience and review of published works

Justin M. Segraves, Rodrigo Cartin-Ceba, Michael D. Leise, Michael Joseph Krowka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Aim: Portopulmonary hypertension is a serious complication of portal hypertension that can lead to right heart failure and death. To our knowledge, an association between portopulmonary hypertension and prior splenectomy has not been described previously. The goals of this study were to describe the frequency of splenectomy in portopulmonary hypertension and compare selected parameters between portopulmonary hypertension subgroups. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with portopulmonary hypertension between 1 January 1988 and 30 June 2015 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA). We compared age, sex, right ventricle systolic pressure by echocardiography, and right heart catheterization measurements/calculations among subgroups of portopulmonary hypertension patients with splenectomy and/or autoimmune liver disease (autoimmune hepatitis/primary biliary cirrhosis/primary sclerosing cholangitis). Results: The cohort consisted of 141 patients, of whom 8 (6%) had a history of splenectomy prior to the development of portopulmonary hypertension. Twenty-seven (19%) portopulmonary hypertension patients had autoimmune liver disease, and 5 of 8 (62.5%) splenectomized portopulmonary hypertension patients had autoimmune liver disease. No significant difference was noted in right heart catheterization measurements/calculations between splenectomized and non-splenectomized portopulmonary hypertension patients. Right ventricle systolic pressure by echocardiography was significantly higher in those splenectomized. Conclusions: Prior history of splenectomy in portopulmonary hypertension was 6% in this cohort. The combination of autoimmune liver disease and splenectomy in portopulmonary hypertension was not uncommon. History of splenectomy in patients with portal hypertension and/or autoimmune liver disease may have clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E340-E346
JournalHepatology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018



  • autoimmune liver disease
  • portal hypertension
  • portopulmonary hypertension
  • splenectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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