Cancer-associated splanchnic vein thrombosis: Clinical implications and management considerations

Omri Cohen, Lucia Maria Caiano, Sarina Levy-Mendelovich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT), a thrombosis which involves the portal, mesenteric, and splenic veins, and the Budd-Chiari syndrome, represents an uncommon type of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Like with deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities and pulmonary embolism, ample evidence suggests a significant association between SVT and cancer, particularly intra-abdominal solid malignancies (e.g. hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Clinical symptoms of SVT in cancer patients can be ambiguous, and frequently attributed to the primary cancer itself. Alternatively, SVT may be asymptomatic and detected incidentally during cancer staging or follow-up evaluations. SVT can also precede the diagnosis of cancer and has been associated with poorer outcomes in patients with liver or pancreatic cancers. Therefore, an unprovoked SVT warrants a thorough evaluation for an underlying malignancy or MPN. Cancer-associated SVT carries a high risk of VTE extension, recurrence and bleeding. Extended anticoagulant treatment is often required in the absence of a high bleeding risk. Guidelines suggest treatment with either low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), although available data on the safety and effectiveness of DOACs in these patients is limited. This comprehensive review outlines the epidemiology, pathogenesis, risk factors, and diagnosis of cancer-associated SVT and underscores the importance of comprehensive patient evaluation and evidence-based management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anticoagulation
  • Cancer
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • Splanchnic vein thrombosis
  • Venous thromboembolism


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