portal hypertension

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portal hypertension (por-t'l) n. a state in which the pressure within the hepatic portal vein is increased, causing enlargement of the spleen and ascites. The commonest cause is cirrhosis. Treatment is by diuretic drugs, by surgery (see portacaval anastomosis), or by implanting a stent within the liver to join portal tract veins to a hepatic vein tributary.