Also known as: Ischemic hepatitis and Shock liver
- Blood clots in the main artery to the liver (hepatic artery) after a liver transplant
- Swelling of blood vessels leading to reduced blood flow (vasculitis)
Hepatic ischemia is a condition in which the liver does not get enough blood or oxygen, causing injury to liver cells.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Low blood pressure from any condition can lead to hepatic ischemia. Such conditions may include:
Other causes may include:
If low blood pressure continues for a long time, you may feel weak and lightheaded. However, the period of low blood pressure may be brief and produce no symptoms. Damage to the liver cells usually does not cause symptoms.
Blood clots in the liver's main artery may cause abdominal pain.
Signs and tests
The following tests will be done:
Treatment depends on the cause. Low blood pressure and blood clots must be properly treated.
Patients generally recover if the illness causing hepatic ischemia can be treated. Death from liver failure due to hepatic ischemia is very rare.
Liver failure is a rare but life-threatening complication.
Calling your health care provider
Quickly treating the causes of low blood pressure may prevent hepatic ischemia.
Jain R, Thiele DL. Gastrointestinal and hepatic manifestations of systemic diseases. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 35.
Hauser SC. Vascular diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 146.
- Review date:
- July 7, 2010
- Reviewed by:
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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