Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


We describe a case of hepatic portal venous (HPV) gas. The diagnosis was assisted by findings of computed tomography (CT). The HPV gas resulted from a diverticular abscess in a patient who had a stable clinical course. If the possibility of HPV gas exists, scanning without intravenous administration of contrast material should be performed. If postcontrast scans alone are obtained, the opacified portal blood may mask small amounts of HPV gas, as was true in this case. Also, postcontrast scans can easily distinguish HPV gas from air within the biliary tree if findings of precontrast scans are equivocal.