Hepatic ischemia

Definition

Hepatic ischemia is a condition in which the liver does not get enough blood or oxygen. This causes injury to liver cells.

Causes

Low blood pressure from any condition can lead to hepatic ischemia. Such conditions may include:

Other causes may include:

Symptoms

The person may have altered mental status due to reduced blood flow to the brain. Other symptoms may include:

Damage to the liver cells most often does not cause symptoms until it affects liver function.

Blood clots in the liver's main artery may cause abdominal pain.

Exams and Tests

The following tests will be done:

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause. Low blood pressure and blood clots must be treated right away.

Outlook (Prognosis)

People generally recover if the illness causing hepatic ischemia can be treated. Death from liver failure due to hepatic ischemia is very rare.

Possible Complications

Liver failure is a rare, but fatal complication.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your health care provider right away if you have persistent weakness or symptoms of shock or dehydration.

Prevention

Quickly treating the causes of low blood pressure may prevent hepatic ischemia.


Review Date: 4/2/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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