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Hepatic vein catheter

Ap.Prof PD et Mattias Mandorfer

Senior Physician

Hepatic vein catheter

Accessibility: Checkpoint  7i, red bed building

Appointments: Phone.: +43 (0)1 40400-47780 or +43 (0)1 40400-47295
or E-Mail:

Business hours: Monday to Friday by appointment

The measurement of the portosystemic pressure gradient by liver vein catheterisation is performed in Austria's largest center for the care of patients with advanced liver disease/cirrhosis and vascular liver disease.

The portosystemic pressure gradient (pressure difference between the portal vein upstream of the liver and the downstream veins) assesses the presence and severity of portal hypertension, which is a key driver of the occurrence of complications.

With around 350 liver vein catheterisation and liver biopsy (also via the jugular vein located in the neck, i.e. "transjugular") procedures per year, the Vienna Hepatic Hemodynamic Lab is one of the largest and most reputable services of its kind world-wide. The laboratory's main clinical task is to determine the portosystemic pressure gradient (indirectly as hepatic venous pressure gradient; HVPG) via a jugular vein in patients with suspected portal hypertension or unclear findings. In addition, right heart catheterisations to assess pulmonary hypertension as well as follow-up assessments for patients with a “liver stent” (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt; TIPS) are performed.

A liver vein catheterisation is indicated in the following clinical situations:

  • Diagnostic work-up of portal hypertension and prognostication in patients with advanced liver disease/liver cirrhosis
  • Differential diagnosis of vascular liver diseases
  • Risk assessment before liver surgery
  • Monitoring of drug therapy (haemodynamic response to carvedilol/propranolol)
  • Monitoring before and after specific therapies for underlying liver disease
  • Safe sampling of liver tissue (transjugular liver biopsy)
  • Therapeutic studies on portal hypertension

In addition, the following add-on examinations are offered by the Vienna Hepatic Hemodynamic Lab:

  • Vibration-controlled transient elastography of the liver and spleen (using Fibroscan (R) and the dedicated 100Hz probe for the spleen)
  • Shear wave elastography (using Aixplorer (R)) of the liver and spleen
  • ICG clearance