The ability of duplex Doppler sonography of the ligamentum teres and portal vein to detect specific signs of portal hypertension was compared with the ability of endoscopy to demonstrate gastroesophageal varices in consecutive patients. Among 90 patients with parenchymal liver disease and a high probability of portal hypertension, 70 had varices, 72 had specific sonographic signs, and four had neither. Ultrasonography was comparable to endoscopy irrespective of the clinical severity of the underlying liver disease. Eleven patients had vascular occlusive diseases; nine had varices; and all had at least one sonographic sign. Duplex Doppler ultrasonography may have a clinical role in noninvasive detection of portal hypertension. Further studies correlating the findings with those of portal pressure are needed to define the place of duplex Doppler ultrasonography as a predictor of the presence of portal hypertension.