Portal hypertension is a severe consequence of chronic liver diseases and is responsible for the main clinical complications of liver cirrhosis. Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurement is the best available method to evaluate the presence and severity of portal hypertension. Clinically significant portal hypertension is defined as an increase in HVPG to >10 mmHg. In this condition, the complications of portal hypertension might begin to appear. HVPG measurement is increasingly used in the clinical fields, and the HVPG is a robust surrogate marker in many clinical applications such as diagnosis, risk stratification, identification of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who are candidates for liver resection, monitoring of the efficacy of medical treatment, and assessment of progression of portal hypertension. Patients who had a reduction in HVPG of > or =20% or to < or =12 mmHg in response to drug therapy are defined as responders. Responders have a markedly decreased risk of bleeding/rebleeding, ascites, and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, which results in improved survival. This review provides clinical use of HVPG measurement in the field of liver disease.