Evaluation of Venous Ammonia Level, Splenic Longitudinal Diameter, Portal Vein and Splenic Vein Diameters as Non-Invasive Indicators for the Presence of Portosystemic Collaterals in Egyptian Cirrhotic Patients


Introduction and Aim of the Work: The identification of cirrhotic patients with esophageal varices or other portosystemic collateral by non-invasive means is appealing in that it could decrease the necessity of endoscopic screening. This study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of venous ammonia level with other ultrasonographic parameters as non-invasive markers for the presence of portosystemic shunts. Patients and methods: The study included 3 groups of Child Pugh class A and early B patients. Group (A): 25 patients with evidence of both esophageal varices and portosystemic collaterals; group (B) 25 patients with neither evidence of varices nor portosystemic collaterals and group (C): 25 patients with evidence of varices but no collaterals. Measurement of venous ammonia level was done for all patients. Results: serum ammonia level was significantly higher in group A (222.8 ± 54 μg/dL) than that in group B (85 ± 21.1 μg/dL) and group C (148.2 ± 19.6 μg/dL). The cut-off value of serum ammonia level 113 μg/dL was a good predictor for the presence of esophageal varices, while the cut-off value of serum ammonia level at 133 μg/dL was a good predictor for the presence of both esophageal varices and abdominal collaterals. Combination of portal vein diameter > 13mm + splenic vein diameter > 8.9mm + ammonia level > 133 μg/dL gives 100% of sensitivity and 96% of specificity for the prediction of the presence of portosystemic shunts. Conclusion: Determination of serum ammonia level, splenic, portal vein and splenic vein diameters are considered as good predictors for the presence of portosystemic shunts in patients with liver cirrhosis.

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Montasser, M. , Abdella, H. and Samy, A. (2014) Evaluation of Venous Ammonia Level, Splenic Longitudinal Diameter, Portal Vein and Splenic Vein Diameters as Non-Invasive Indicators for the Presence of Portosystemic Collaterals in Egyptian Cirrhotic Patients. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 4, 265-274. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2014.46039.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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