Idiopathic Non-Cirrhotic Portal Hypertension and Porto-Sinusoidal Vascular Disease: Review of Current Data

Michel Kmeid, Xiuli Liu, Samuel Ballentine, Hwajeong Lee


Idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (INCPH) is a clinicopathologic disease entity characterized by the presence of clinical signs and symptoms of portal hypertension (PH) in the absence of liver cirrhosis or known risk factors accountable for PH. Multiple hematologic, immune-related, infectious, hereditary and metabolic risk factors have been associated with this disorder. Still, the exact etiopathogenesis is largely unknown. The recently proposed porto-sinusoidal vascular disease (PSVD) scheme broadens the spectrum of the disease by also including patients without clinical PH who are found to have similar histopathologic findings on core liver biopsies. Three histomorphologic lesions have been identified as specific for PSVD to include obliterative portal venopathy, nodular regenerative hyperplasia and incomplete septal cirrhosis/fibrosis. However, these findings are often subtle, under-recognized and subjective with low interobserver agreement among pathologists. Additionally, the natural history of the subclinical forms of the disease remains unexplored. The clinical course is more favorable compared to cirrhosis patients, especially in the absence of clinical PH or liver dysfunction. There are no universally accepted guidelines in regard to diagnosis and treatment of INCPH/PSVD. Hence, this review emphasizes the need to raise awareness of this entity by highlighting its complex pathophysiology and clinicopathologic associations. Lastly, formulation of standardized diagnostic criteria with clinical validation is necessary to avoid misclassifying vascular diseases of the liver and to develop and implement targeted therapeutic strategies.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(2):49-65


Liver; Cirrhosis; Nodular regenerative hyperplasia; Incomplete septal cirrhosis; Non-cirrhotic; Portal hypertension; Porto-sinusoidal; Vascular injury

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