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Venous hum in the abdomen

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Uncommonly, in portal hypertension, a venous hum can be heard between the xiphisternum and the umbilicus. It is due to increased blood flow in the umbilical and paraumbilical veins in the falciform ligament. These shunt blood from the portal vein to the epigastric and internal mammary veins in the anterior abdominal wall.

The presence of any abdominal venous hum indicates that:

  • the portal vein is patent
  • the site of portal obstruction is intrahepatic

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