Hepatopetal vs Hepatofugal Flow

Right upper quadrant Doppler ultrasound reports often mention that flow in the portal vein is hepatopetal vs hepatofugal flow. This can leave the inexperienced resident somewhat confused as to exactly which way the flow of blood is moving.

Hepatopetal flow is the normal pattern of blood flow into the liver and hepatofugal flow is physiologically abnormal portal vein blood flow away from the liver. Hepatofugal flow can occur in cirrhosis of the liver or less commonly in a post-sinusoidal obstruction.

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