Predicting the risk of postsplenectomy thrombosis in patients with portal hypertension using computational hemodynamics models: A proof-of-concept study

  • Tianqi Wang
    School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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  • Fuyou Liang
    Corresponding author at: School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No.800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China.
    School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

    State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

    World-Class Research Center "Digital Biodesign and Personalized Healthcare", Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow 19991, Russia
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  • Guoping Song
    Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China
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  • Jiao Guan
    Department of Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China
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  • Zunqiang Zhou
    Corresponding author at: Department of Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, No.600 Yishan Road, Shanghai 200233, China.
    Department of Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China
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      • Low wall shear stress and prolonged flow stagnation are related to postsplenectomy thrombosis.
      • Anatomorphological features dominate hemodynamic characteristics in the portal venous system.
      • Hemodynamic analysis has potential value for assessing the risk of postsplenectomy thrombosis.



      The high incidence of thrombosis in the portal venous system following splenectomy (a frequently adopted surgery for treating portal hypertension in patients with splenomegaly and hypersplenism) is a critical clinical issue. The aim of this study was to address whether quantification of postsplenectomy hemodynamics has potential value for assessing the risk of postsplenectomy thrombosis.


      Computational models were constructed for three portal hypertensive patients treated with splenectomy based on their preoperative clinical data to quantify hemodynamics in the portal venous system before and after splenectomy, respectively. Each patient was followed up for three or five months after surgery and examined with CT to screen potential thrombosis.


      The area ratio of wall regions exposed to low wall shear stress was small before splenectomy in all patients, which increased markedly after splenectomy and exhibited enlarged inter-patient differences. The largest area ratio of low wall shear stress and most severe flow stagnation after splenectomy were predicted for the patient suffering from postsplenectomy thrombosis, with the wall regions exposed to low wall shear stress corresponding well with the CT-detected distribution of thrombus. Further analyses revealed that postoperative hemodynamic characteristics were considerably influenced by the anatomorphological features of the portal venous system.


      Postoperative hemodynamic conditions in the portal venous system are highly patient-specific and have a potential link to postsplenectomy thrombosis, which indicates that patient-specific hemodynamic studies may serve as a complement to routine clinical assessments for refining risk stratification and postoperative patient management.


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