, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 679-684
Date: 04 Sep 2004

Extrahepatic portal hypertension in children: observations on three surgical procedures

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This paper presents a comparative prospective study of three modalities of surgical treatment for extrahepatic portal hypertension in children: central splenorenal shunt after splenectomy (CSS), side-to-side lienorenal shunt (SSLR) without splenectomy, and splenectomy and gastroesophageal devascularization (SGD). In an 18-month period, 27 procedures were performed: 10 CSS, 10 SSLR, and seven SGD. The outcomes were evaluated by fall in portal pressures, hematological parameters, shunt patency, splenic regression, and disappearance of esophageal varices. All three procedures were comparable in the fall of portal pressure after surgery. The average blood loss and operating time were statistically significant in favor of SSLR compared with CSS. At 3-month follow-up, shunt patency was confirmed by duplex Doppler study in all the patients in the SSLR group and in nine out of 10 patients in the CSS group. In the CSS and SGD groups, hypersplenism resolved in all the patients. In the SSLR group, blood counts improved in only five out of eight affected children. No patient re-bled during a follow-up of 3–5 years. There were no cases of hepatic encephalopathy or overwhelming postsplenectomy sepsis. In conclusion, CSS is useful when there is a large spleen, severe hypersplenism, and a shuntable splenic vein. SSLR is suitable when there is only mild splenomegaly, mild hypersplenism, and a shuntable splenic vein. Splenectomy and devascularization is the choice when there is no shuntable splenic vein.