Yonsei Med J.  2008 Aug;49(4):669-671. 10.3349/ymj.2008.49.4.669.

Iatrogenic Gastric Dilatation: A Rare and Transient Cause of Hepatic-portal Venous Gas

  • 1Department of Surgery, King Abdullah University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid-Jordan. banihani60@yahoo.com


Gas in the portal veins is rare and in most cases is associated with serious diseases and poor clinical outcome. A case of gas in the hepatic-portal veins with gastric dilatation, as shown by CT-scanning for abdominal trauma, is reported. The condition was clinically benign and resolved spontaneously. An abdominal CT scan documented the findings.


Portal venous air; gas; trauma; CT; portal vein

MeSH Terms

Gastric Dilatation/*complications/*radiography
Portal Vein/*pathology/*radiography
Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fig. 1 Plain X-ray of the abdomen showing extensive gastric dilatation. Portal vein gas is also seen.

  • Fig. 2 Cross-section abdominal CT scan. Note the hepatic-portal veins gas, which appears as a branching radiolucency extending to within 2 cm of the liver capsule.


1. Fred HL, Mayhall CG, Harle TS. Hepatic portal venous gas. A review and report on six new cases. Am J Med. 1968. 44:557–565.
2. Liebman PR, Patten MT, Manny J, Benfield JR, Hechtman HB. Hepatic-portal venous gas in adults: etiology, pathophysiology and clinical significance. Ann Surg. 1978. 187:281–287.
3. Molik KA, West KW, Rescorla FJ, Scherer LR, Engum SA, Grosfeld JL. Portal venous air: the poor prognosis persists. J Pediatr Surg. 2001. 36:1143–1145.
4. Faberman RS, Mayo-Smith WW. Outcome of 17 patients with portal venous gas detected by CT. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997. 169:1535–1538.
5. Gosink BB. Intrahepatic gas: differential diagnosis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1981. 137:763–767.
6. Quirke TE. Hepatic-portal venous gas associated with ileus. Am Surg. 1995. 61:1084–1086.
7. Benson MD. Adult survival with intrahepatic portal venous gas secondary to acute gastric dilatation, with a review of portal venous gas. Clin Radiol. 1985. 36:441–443.
8. Kirsch M, Bozdech J, Gardner DA. Hepatic portal venous gas: an unusual presentation of Crohn's disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 1990. 85:1521–1523.
9. Tan EC, Jager GJ, Bleeker WA, Van Goor H. Portal venous air in an adult patient with obstructive small bowel volvulus. Dig Surg. 2002. 19:400–402.
10. Herman JB, Levine MS, Long WB. Portal venous gas as a complication of ERCP and endoscopic sphincterotomy. Am J Gastroenterol. 1995. 90:828–829.
11. Chen KW, Shin JS, Chi CH, Cheng L. Seizure: a rare and transient cause of portal venous gas. Am J Gastroenterol. 1997. 92:351–352.
12. Yarze JC, Dimick RN, DeCunzo LP. Massive portal venous air in a 24-year-old patient. Am J Gastroenterol. 1999. 94:3657–3658.
13. Friedman D, Flancbaum L, Ritter E, Trooskin SZ. Hepatic portal venous gas identified by computed tomography in a patient with blunt abdominal trauma: a case report. J Trauma. 1991. 31:290–292.
14. Vauthey JN, Matthews CC. Portal vein air embolization after blunt abdominal trauma. Am Surg. 1988. 54:586–588.
15. Dill-Macky MJ. Benign hepatic portal venous gas following blunt abdominal trauma. Australas Radiol. 1997. 41:166–168.
16. Parada González P, Fernández Rodríguez E, Nuño Váquez-Garza JM, González Fernández S, Casal Núñez JE. Portal venous gas secondary to acute gastric dilatation. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2004. 96:227–228.
17. Celoria G, Nardini A, Falco E, Montrucchio E, Pera M, Graziano M. Intraportal air secondary to gastric dilatation. A clinical case. Minerva Chir. 1994. 49:371–373.
18. Lamberto S, Vinci S, Salamone I, Racchiusa S. Intrahepatic portal vein gas. Good prognosis in patients with gastric dilatation. Case report. Radiol Med (Torino). 2001. 101:508–510.
19. Radin DR, Rosen RS, Halls JM. Acute gastric dilatation: a rare cause of portal venous gas. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1987. 148:279–280.
20. Chevallier P, Peten E, Souci J, Chau Y, Padovani B, Bruneton JN. Detection of portal venous gas on sonography, but not on CT. Eur Radiol. 2002. 12:1175–1178.
Full Text Links
  • YMJ
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2024 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr