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Disease Information : PH : Symptoms

Portal Hypertension : Symptoms

Symptoms of Portal Hypertension (not all are present all of the time):

Varices can rupture or burst, especially where the esophagus and the stomach join. Bleeding from varices can be massive, causing patients to vomit blood, which is a major cause of death in patients with portal hypertension. 

Blood may also be detoured through the veins along the rectum, the lowest portion of the large intestine (colon), causing them to enlarge. Enlarged veins along the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids, which can rupture and result in massive bleeding from the rectum and anus. Another symptom of portal hypertension is ascites, the collection of large amounts of fluid in the abdomen. Ascites can lead to early sensations of being full when eating, resulting in malnutrition. People with ascites often have a harder time being active because of the weight of the fluid and the large size of their abdomen. Someone with massive ascites will have a protruding or swollen abdomen, often with thin legs and arms, due to muscle loss because of liver disease and malnutrition.

Ascites can cause the kidneys to fail. Urgent steps must be taken to drain the ascites and to
monitor the kidneys and liver. Unless the liver function is corrected and the kidneys recover, approximately half of these patients die within a few weeks. 


Portal Hypertension section was last modified: December 21, 2010 - 05:55 pm

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