JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Selective distal splenorenal shunts for intractable variceal bleeding in pediatric portal hypertension.

The treatment of portal hypertension in the pediatric population has undergone an evolution toward less invasive methods of care. With the advent of endoscopic sclerotherapy, surgery is less common in the acute care of these patients. Few reports deal with the role of portosystemic shunting in the emergent management of variceal hemorrhage in children. To address this issue, the authors studied the medical records of all pediatric patients at their institution who underwent placement of a shunt for portal hypertension during the last 10 years. Nine patients underwent a total of 10 emergent or semiurgent shunting procedures. Seven were boys and two were girls. Six patients had portal hypertension as a result of intrahepatic disease. Two had extrahepatic portal vein thrombosis. Five children had abnormal hepatic function. The median age at the time of the procedure was 9 years. The indication for surgical shunting in all cases was gastrointestinal hemorrhage not responsive to sclerotherapy. Eight patients underwent emergent distal splenorenal shunts (DSRS), and two underwent a nonselective mesocaval shunt, with one undergoing both. Postoperatively all patients had cessation of bleeding. Operative mortality was zero. Early complications included ascites (3), small bowel obstruction (1), and hepatorenal syndrome (1). The child who underwent a nonselective shunt procedure had encephalopathy. Two DSRS thrombosed, requiring reexploration; eight shunts remained patent. Three patients eventually had orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) because of progressive hepatic failure. Two children died; neither death was shunt related.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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