What is the definition of Hepatic Ischemia?

Hepatic ischemia is a condition in which the liver does not get enough blood or oxygen. This causes injury to liver cells.

What are the alternative names for Hepatic Ischemia?

Ischemic hepatitis; Shock liver

What are the causes for Hepatic Ischemia?

Low blood pressure from any condition can lead to hepatic ischemia. Such conditions may include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dehydration
  • Heart failure
  • Infection, especially sepsis
  • Severe bleeding

Other causes may include:

  • Blood clots in the main artery to the liver (hepatic artery) after a liver transplant
  • Swelling of blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow (vasculitis)
  • Burns
  • Heat stroke
  • Having a sickle cell crisis

What are the symptoms for Hepatic Ischemia?

The person may have altered mental status due to reduced blood flow to the brain. Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of general discomfort
  • Jaundice

Damage to the liver cells most often does not cause symptoms until it affects liver function.

Blood clots in the liver's main artery may cause abdominal pain.

What are the current treatments for Hepatic Ischemia?

Treatment depends on the cause. Low blood pressure and blood clots must be treated right away.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Hepatic Ischemia?

People generally recover if the illness causing hepatic ischemia can be treated. Death from liver failure due to hepatic ischemia is very rare.

What are the possible complications for Hepatic Ischemia?

Liver failure is a rare, but fatal complication.

When should I contact a medical professional for Hepatic Ischemia?

Contact your health care provider right away if you have persistent weakness or symptoms of shock or dehydration.

How do I prevent Hepatic Ischemia?

Quickly treating the causes of low blood pressure may prevent hepatic ischemia.

Liver blood supply


Anstee QM, Jones DEJ. Hepatology. In: Ralston SH, Penman ID, Strachan MWJ, Hobson RP, eds. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.

Korenblat KM, Berk PD. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver tests. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 138.

Nery FG, Valla DC. Vascular diseases of the liver. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 85.

  • Condition: Chronic Liver Disease
  • Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
  • Treatment Used: Vitamin D Supplementation
  • Number of Patients: 1979
  • Published —
The aim of this study was to assess the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin D supplementation in adults with chronic liver diseases.