Background: Decompression of extrahepatic portal hypertension by directly bypassing the thrombosed portal vein has never been reported in cases of children with idiopathic (or neonatal) portal vein obstruction and cavernoma. Methods: Seven children (15 years or younger) with portal vein obstruction requiring surgical decompression (urgently in two cases), and in whom preoperative Doppler had shown that the intrahepatic portal branches were hypoplastic but free of thrombus, were included in a pilot study. The cavernoma was bypassed by interposing a venous jugular autograft between the superior mesenteric vein and the distal portion of the left portal vein. Patients received follow-up using routine clinical parameters, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and Doppler ultrasound. Results: The mesenterico- portal bypass restored a direct (physiological) hepatopetal portal flow. The operation resuited in effective portal decompression as demonstrated by decrease of the pressure gradient, rapid regression of clinical signs of portal hypertension, and definitive control of bleeding. Conclusions: This study shows that direct bypassing of portal cavernoma is possible and results in effective portal decompression. Restoration of the hepatic portal flow is a major advantage compared with conventional surgical shunting procedures. This new technique is potentially applicable to two thirds of children with portal vein thrombosis and should be considered when shunting procedures are indicated.
- Extrahepatic portal hypertension
- Hepatic physiology
- Portal vein thrombosis
- Surgery techniques
ASJC Scopus subject areas