Comparison of portal vein anatomy and bony anatomic landmarks

Michael D. Darcy, Keith M. Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine if a relationship exists between the right portal trunk (RPT) and bony structures that might aid guidance of needle passes into the RPT during transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-two TIPS portal venograins were reviewed. The distance of the mid-RPT from the lateral margin of the vertebral column was measured and calculated as a fraction of the adjacent vertebral body width. The cephalocaudal height of the RPT was compared with that of the posterior ribs and rib spaces. The cephalocaudal height was evaluated with frequency distribution, and scattergram plots were used to determine the most common location of the mid-RPT relative to bony structures. The height and lateral position were analyzed in relation to clinical parameters to determine the effect of these parameters on RPT position. RESULTS: The mean distance of the mid-RPT from the lateral vertebral margin was 0.9 vertebral widths (range, 0.1-1.5). Fifty-six of 62 (90%) mid-RPTs were between 0.5 and 1.5 vertebral widths to the right of the lateral margin of the vertebrae. Fifty-four of 62 (87%) mid-RPTs were below the 10th and above the 12th ribs. Clinical factors did not affect RPT position. CONCLUSION: Bony landmarks provide an approximation of the mid-RPT location and may aid in TIPS placement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1996


  • Portal vein, anatomy
  • Shunts, portosystemic

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