Markedly elevated hepatic arterial velocity—HAV greater than 200 cm/s—is not specific to hepatobiliary disease

Michael V. Ramirez, John P. McGahan, Thomas W Loehfelm, Arleen Grewal, Machelle D. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the study was to review the different etiologies and outcomes of patients with hepatic artery velocities greater than 200 cm/s. Methods: This retrospective study included 88 hospitalized patients in whom angle-corrected proper hepatic artery flow velocities greater than 200 cm/s were obtained during an abdominal ultrasonographic examination. Peak systolic hepatic artery flow velocities, hepatic artery resistance index, and portal vein flow velocities were evaluated. The patients were then allocated to one of four groups based on their primary underlying diagnosis: structural liver disease, nonstructural liver disease, generalized infection, or miscellaneous. Results: The median hepatic artery velocity was similar for all groups, ranging from 226 to 238 cm/s. The maximum portal venous velocities were not significantly different between groups. No lab values were statistically different between the groups, except total bilirubin that was greater in the nonstructural liver disease group (8 mg/dL). Overall, 9/88 (10.2%) of patients with elevated hepatic artery velocity died within 30 days of their ultrasonographic examination. Conclusion: Elevated hepatic artery velocity greater than 200 cm/s in hospitalized patients is not specific to primary hepatobiliary disease but may indicate acute hepatic dysfunction from other causes such as infection or sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • acute cholecystitis
  • cirrhosis
  • Doppler ultrasonography
  • hepatic artery
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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