Portal Hypertension evolving from Sickled Hepathopathy: Could Hepatic venous Doppler ultrasound be b
Forty four patients with a diagnosis of sickle cell disease in steady state had a Doppler ultrasound assessment of their hepatic veins done. Six of this patients showed a biphasic spectral pattern which suggests the possibility of portal hypertension. Sickle hepathopathy is an umbrella term covering a wide variety of pathologies that occur as a consequence of the sickling process including sickle cell intrahepatic cholestasis (SCIC).Pathologically, SCIC involves sickling within hepatic sinusoids leading to vascular stasis and localized hypoxia. Vascular stasis could lead to portal hypertension. This doppler ultrasound finding has never been reported in patients with sickle cell disease but has been reported in patients confirmed to have portal hypertension as a result of cirrhotic liver disease. Though this finding is inconclusive in confirming the possibility of portal hypertension, it does raise an important question of the possibility of portal hypertension resulting from sickle cell disease.