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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Diverticulitis complicated by pylephlebitis: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Mahesh Gajendran, Thiruvengadam Muniraj, Mohamed Yassin
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-514) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

All authors equally contributed to the writing of the manuscript. All authors reviewed the final manuscript and approved it for submission.



Pylephlebitis is defined as septic thrombophlebitis of the portal venous system, usually secondary to infection or inflammation in the abdomen. In the current report, we present a case of pylephlebitis that complicated the course of a very common pathology, diverticulitis.

Case presentation

A 62-year-old Caucasian woman with a history of sigmoid diverticulitis presented to our facility with a three-week history of abdominal pain, fevers, chills, loss of appetite and fatigue. Her laboratory test results showed leukocytosis and elevated alkaline phosphatase. A computed tomography scan revealed portal vein thrombosis and a sigmoid diverticulitis with an abscess. Our patient was given pipercillin-tozabactam followed by sigmoid colectomy and loop transverse colostomy. A peritoneal fluid sample culture grew Escherichia coli. Our patient had an uneventful post-operative course and the leukocytosis resolved in the next four days. She improved clinically and was discharged home on ertapenem and enoxaparin. A follow-up computed tomography scan two weeks later showed a new pelvic abscess that was drained by a pigtail catheter but there was no change in the portal venous thrombus. A repeat computed tomography scan one month later revealed resolution of the pelvic abscess but persistence of portal vein thrombus, for which enoxaparin was continued.


This is a classic case of pylephlebitis that demonstrates the importance of recognizing that the portal vein thrombus is infected and treating the condition appropriately.

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