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portal hypertension caput medusae

by Mackenzie Bogan Published 1 year ago Updated 6 months ago
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Caput medusae is usually related to liver disease, which eventually causes liver scarring, or cirrhosis. This scarring makes it harder for blood to flow through the veins of your liver, leading to a backup of blood in your portal vein. The increased blood in your portal vein leads to portal hypertension.

Caput medusae is one of the cardinal features of portal hypertension. The appearance is due to cutanous portosystemic collateral formation between distended and engorged paraumbilical veins
paraumbilical veins
The paraumbilical veins are thick-walled and of similar structure to the umbilical vein. Together they constitute an accessory portal system which is confined between the layers of the falciform ligament and is in communication with the veins of the ventral abdominal wall.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pmc › articles › PMC1233134
that radiate from the umbilicus across the abdomen to join systemic veins.

Full Answer

What is caput medusae and what causes it?

Caput medusae is almost always caused by portal hypertension. This refers to high pressure in your portal vein. The portal vein carries blood to your liver from your intestines, gall bladder, pancreas, and spleen. The liver processes the nutrients in the blood and then sends the blood along to the heart.

What causes caput medusae and varicose veins?

The root cause of caput medusae is portal hypertension, which is an increase in pressure in the portal vein. That’s the vein that moves blood from your digestive tract to your liver. When the portal vein is blocked, the blood volume increases in the surrounding blood vessels, and they turn into varicose veins.

What is caput medusae (palm tree sign)?

Caput medusae, sometimes called a palm tree sign, refers to the appearance of a network of painless, swollen veins around your bellybutton. While it’s not a disease, it is a sign of an underlying condition, usually liver disease.

Can a CT scan show caput medusae?

Caput medusae is usually easy to see, so your doctor will likely focus on determining whether it’s due to liver disease or a blockage in your inferior vena cava. A CT scan or ultrasound can show the direction of blood flow in your abdomen. This will help your doctor narrow down the cause.

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How does portal hypertension cause caput medusae?

The increased blood in your portal vein leads to portal hypertension. With nowhere else to go, some of the blood tries to flow through nearby veins around the bellybutton, called the periumbilical veins. This produces the pattern of enlarged blood vessels known as caput medusae.

Which veins cause Caput Medusa?

What Causes Caput Medusae? The appearance of swollen veins around your belly button is a symptom of circulatory issues. The root cause of caput medusae is portal hypertension, which is an increase in pressure in the portal vein. That's the vein that moves blood from your digestive tract to your liver.

How can you tell the difference between Caput Medusa and IVC obstruction?

Caput Medusae is distinguished from inferior vena cava obstruction by determining the direction of flow in the veins below the umbilicus; it is towards the legs in the former, and towards the head in the latter (as abdominal collaterals develop to bypass the blocked inferior vena cava and permit venous return from the ...

How is Budd Chiari syndrome diagnosed?

How is Budd-Chiari syndrome diagnosed? Budd-Chiari syndrome is diagnosed through a physical examination and with certain tests. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will look for signs of Budd-Chiari, such as ascites (swelling in the abdomen).

What causes portal hypertension?

Portal hypertension is a term used to describe elevated pressures in the portal venous system (a major vein that leads to the liver). Portal hypertension may be caused by intrinsic liver disease, obstruction, or structural changes that result in increased portal venous flow or increased hepatic resistance.

When is caput medusae seen?

Caput medusae is one of the cardinal features of portal hypertension. The appearance is due to cutanous portosystemic collateral formation between distended and engorged paraumbilical veins that radiate from the umbilicus across the abdomen to join systemic veins.

What causes spider veins on rib cage?

When the valves stop working because they're weak or damaged, blood backs up and pools in the veins. As a result, the veins enlarge and become visible, creating spider veins.

What does a spider vein look like?

Spider veins are small, twisted blood vessels that are visible through the skin. They may be red, purple, or blue and most often appear on the legs or face. They take their name from their striking spiderweb pattern.

What cause esophageal varices?

Causes of esophageal varices include: Severe liver scarring (cirrhosis). A number of liver diseases — including hepatitis infection, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver disease and a bile duct disorder called primary biliary cirrhosis — can result in cirrhosis. Blood clot (thrombosis).

Where is the portal vein?

The hepatic portal vein is a vessel that moves blood from the spleen and gastrointestinal tract to the liver. It is approximately three to four inches in length and is usually formed by the merging of the superior mesenteric and splenic veins behind the upper edge of the head of the pancreas.

How to diagnose caput medusae?

Diagnosing the Cause of Caput Medusae. If you have caput medusae, you should speak to a doctor. When you go for an appointment, your doctor will need to determine the cause of the blockage in your portal vein. They will ask about your health, including if you have a history of liver disease. They may also perform:

What is the meaning of the word "caput medusae"?

The term caput medusae is Latin for “head of Medusa.”. Medusa was a character in mythology who had snakes for hair.

What causes a portal vein to be a symptom of liver damage?

More commonly, portal vein hypertension is a symptom of liver damage. Hepatitis, alcohol abuse, or other types of liver damage cause scar tissue to form on the liver. Those scars restrict blood flow into the liver and cause blood to back up in the portal vein. The visible caput medusae may not cause any pain or discomfort.

What causes caput medusae?

The root cause of caput medusae is portal hypertension, which is an increase in pressure in the portal vein. That’s the vein that moves blood from your digestive tract to your liver. When the portal vein is blocked, the blood volume increases in the surrounding blood vessels, and they turn into varicose veins.

What is the name of the cluster of veins in your abdomen?

Diagnosing the Cause of Caput Medusae. Treating Caput Medusae and its Causes. Caput medusae is the name for a cluster of swollen veins in your abdomen. The swelling usually appears around the belly button, and the veins branch out from a central point. They are typically painless, but they are a symptom of circulatory problems ...

What tests are used to diagnose caput medusae?

Blood tests. Tests to evaluate your mental function. Heart function tests . Imaging such as an ultrasound. Endoscopy, a camera used to examine the upper digestive tract. Treating Caput Medusae and its Causes. The treatment for caput medusae depends on what other symptoms you have and the underlying causes of them.‌.

Can caput medusae cause pain?

The visible caput medusae may not cause any pain or discomfort. Portal hypertension and liver disease have other noticeable symptoms in addition to distended veins. You may also experience: Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract: If the swollen veins rupture and cause internal bleeding, it is called bleeding varices.

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