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Successful treatment for intractable chylous ascites in a child using a peritoneovenous shunt

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Intractable post-operative chylous ascites had been managed successfully using a peritoneovenous shunt (PVshunt). A 4-year-old girl with neuroblastoma originated from the right adrenal gland was admitted to our hospital. Following the preoperative chemotherapy, tumor resection, and lymph node dissection of the abdominal paraaortic region were carried out. Post-operative radiation therapy 9.6 gray to the tumor bed and to the paraaortic region and a high dose chemotherapy supported by auto bone marrow transplantation were completed. Three months later some enlarged lymph nodes along the duodeno-hepatic ligament were detected and these had gradually increased in size. Lymph node dissection along the hepatic artery and the abdominal aorta was carried out. Pathological examination of the specimen showed reactive lymph node swelling. Chylous ascites developed several days after surgery. Despite the medium-chain triglycerides meal or total parental nutrition, the ascites persisted for more than 80 days. Multiple paracenteses were mandatory. A PV shunt was implanted and the ascites was resolved by the fourth post-operative day. Thirty months later, the vascular end tube of the shunt was ligated. As ascites had not accumulated for 2 weeks, the PV shunt was removed. The patient has been doing well without recurrence of ascites or neuroblastoma for 12 years. As PV shunts were mostly used for long lasting disease, it has not been referred as to how to know when the shunt should be removed. If the shunt is inserted for transient management of ascites, less invasive methods of investigation to know when to remove the shunt need to be developed.

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Correspondence to Hiroshi Matsufuji.

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Matsufuji, H., Nishio, T. & Hosoya, R. Successful treatment for intractable chylous ascites in a child using a peritoneovenous shunt. Ped Surgery Int 22, 471–473 (2006).

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