Elevated International Normalized Ratio: A Risk Factor for Portal Vein Thrombosis in Cirrhotic Patients

Eric Omar Then, Vijay Shailendra Are, Michell Lopez-Luciano, Rani Bijjam, Andrew Ofosu, Andrea Culliford, Vinaya Gaduputi


Background: Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a complication that is commonly seen in patients with cirrhosis and an entity that leads to increased mortality in patients who undergo liver transplantation. This study aims to establish a link between an elevated international normalized ratio (INR) and the presence of PVT in a cohort of cirrhotic patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of all patients diagnosed with cirrhosis in SBH Health System from 2013 to 2018. Among these patients we extracted baseline demographic data, laboratory results, co-morbidities and the presence of PVT.

Results: In total there were 268 patients who met our inclusion criteria. Twenty-two patients had PVT, while 246 patients did not. Of the 22 patients with PVT there was a statistically significant increase in INR when compared to patients without PVT. There was also a statistically significant increase in total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and platelet count.

Conclusions: Elevated INR levels are associated with the presence of PVT in patients with cirrhosis. These findings suggest a hypercoagulable state and could assist clinicians in risk-stratifying patients when making the decision to initiate anti-coagulation therapy.

Gastroenterol Res. 2019;12(3):135-140
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1179


Portal vein thrombosis; Cirrhosis; Anticoagulation; International normalized ratio

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