Background and Aims: Non-cirrhotic portal hypertension due to extrahepatic portal vein thrombosis (EHO) and non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis (NCPF) is a major cause of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage in India. Hypercoagulability has been proposed to explain the thrombosis in the portal vein in EHO and intrahepatic portal vein radicals in NCPF. However, some authors have reported hypocoagulability in these patients. Thromboelastography (TEG), which gives a dynamic assessment of coagulation, has potential for evaluating coagulation in these patients but has not been used so far. It was the aim of this study to evaluate the coagulation status in patients of EHO and NCPF using TEG.
Methods: Thirty patients with EHO and 19 patients with NCPF were studied. TEG was done in all patients. R (reaction time), K (constant), α (angle), MA (maximal amplitude), A 60 (width of tracing after 60 min) were recorded and TEG index calculated and compared to controls.
Results: Seven patients (23.3%) in the EHO group and eight (42.1%) in the NCPF group had severe thrombocytopenia (platlets, < 50 000 cells/dL). TEG showed significantly shorter R, higher MA and larger A in both EHO and NCPF compared to controls (P < 0.01). Thrombocytopenia normalized A but R continued to be significantly shorter in EHO and NCPF. Overt hypercoagulability (TEG index, > +2.5) was seen in two patients with EHO and one patient with NCPF.
Conclusion: A latent hypercoagulable state exists in patients with EHO and NCPF which is partially masked by the thrombocytopenia secondary to splenomegaly and hypersplenism.