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Hepatic Artery Occlusion


Whitney Jackson

, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2022 | Modified Sep 2022

Causes of hepatic artery occlusion include thrombosis (eg, due to hypercoagulability disorders, severe arteriosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is characterized by patchy intimal plaques (atheromas) that encroach on the lumen of medium-sized and large arteries. The plaques contain lipids, inflammatory cells, smooth muscle... read more Atherosclerosis , or vasculitis Overview of Vasculitis Vasculitis is inflammation of blood vessels, often with ischemia, necrosis, and organ inflammation. Vasculitis can affect any blood vessel—arteries, arterioles, veins, venules, or capillaries... read more Overview of Vasculitis ), emboli (eg, due to endocarditis Infective Endocarditis Infective endocarditis is infection of the endocardium, usually with bacteria (commonly, streptococci or staphylococci) or fungi. It may cause fever, heart murmurs, petechiae, anemia, embolic... read more Infective Endocarditis , tumors, therapeutic embolization, or chemoembolization), iatrogenic causes (eg, ligation during surgery), vasculitis (via nonthrombotic mechanisms), structural arterial abnormalities (eg, hepatic artery aneurysm Hepatic Artery Aneurysms Aneurysms of the hepatic artery are uncommon. They tend to be saccular and multiple. Causes include infection, arteriosclerosis, trauma, and vasculitis. (See also Overview of Vascular Disorders... read more ), eclampsia Preeclampsia and Eclampsia Preeclampsia is new-onset or worsening of existing hypertension with proteinuria after 20 weeks gestation. Eclampsia is unexplained generalized seizures in patients with preeclampsia. Diagnosis... read more , cocaine use Cocaine Cocaine is a sympathomimetic drug with central nervous system stimulant and euphoriant properties. High doses can cause panic, schizophrenic-like symptoms, seizures, hyperthermia, hypertension... read more , and sickle cell crisis Sickle Cell Disease Sickle cell disease (a hemoglobinopathy) causes a chronic hemolytic anemia occurring almost exclusively in people with African ancestry. It is caused by homozygous inheritance of genes for hemoglobin... read more Sickle Cell Disease . (See also Overview of Vascular Disorders of the Liver Overview of Vascular Disorders of the Liver The liver has a dual blood supply. The portal vein (which is rich in nutrients and relatively high in oxygen) provides two thirds of blood flow to the liver. The hepatic artery (which is oxygen-rich)... read more .)

Symptoms and Signs of Hepatic Artery Occlusion

Hepatic artery occlusion does not elicit symptoms unless hepatic infarction, or ischemic hepatitis Ischemic Hepatitis Ischemic hepatitis is diffuse liver damage due to an inadequate blood or oxygen supply. (See also Overview of Vascular Disorders of the Liver.) Causes are most often systemic: Impaired hepatic... read more , is present. Hepatic infarction may be asymptomatic or cause right upper quadrant pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice. Leukocytosis and a high aminotransferase level are common.

Diagnosis of Hepatic Artery Occlusion

  • Vascular imaging

Diagnosis of hepatic artery occlusion is confirmed by imaging Imaging Tests of the Liver and Gallbladder Imaging is essential for accurately diagnosing biliary tract disorders and is important for detecting focal liver lesions (eg, abscess, tumor). It is limited in detecting and diagnosing diffuse... read more Imaging Tests of the Liver and Gallbladder with Doppler ultrasonography, usually followed by angiography. The choice between CT angiography, magnetic resonance angiography, and celiac arteriography largely depends on availability and expertise. CT may detect a wedge-shaped area of low attenuation.

Treatment of Hepatic Artery Occlusion

  • Directed at the cause

Treatment is directed at the cause.

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