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Open Access Case report

Portal vein thrombosis following laparoscopic cholecystectomy complicated by dengue viral infection: a case report

Dilip Dan, Kevin King, Shiva Seetahal, Vijay Naraynsingh and Seetharaman Hariharan*

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:126  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-126

Published: 30 March 2011

Abstract

Introduction

Portal vein thrombosis is an uncommon post-operative complication following abdominal surgery. Although therapeutic anticoagulation is recommended, this treatment may be questionable when the patient has an associated bleeding diathesis.

Case presentation

We report a case of a 63-year-old woman of Asian Indian ethnicity who developed portal vein thrombosis following an uneventful laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallstones. Her condition was further complicated by dengue viral infection in the post-operative period, with thrombocytopenia immediately preceding the diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis. The etiological connections between dengue viral infection with thrombocytopenia, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, portal vein thrombosis as well as the treatment dilemmas posed in treating a patient with portal vein thrombosis with a bleeding diathesis are discussed.

Conclusion

When portal vein thrombosis occurs in patients with contraindications to anticoagulation, there is a role for initial conservative management without aggressive anticoagulation therapy and such patients must be approached on an individualized basis.