OBJECTIVES: Non-cirrhotic portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a main cause of portal hypertension in children. We describe the characteristics at presentation and outcome of a cohort of patients with PVT to determine clinical features and predictors of outcome.
METHODS: We recorded: (1) Associated factors: prematurity, congenital malformations, neonatal illnesses, umbilical vein catheterization (UVC), deep infections, surgery; (2) congenital and acquired prothrombotic disorders; (3) features at last follow up including survival rate and need for surgery.
RESULTS: 187 patients, mean age at diagnosis 4 ± 3.7 years, had a history of prematurity (61%); UVC (65%); neonatal illnesses (79%). The diagnosis followed the detection of splenomegaly (40%), gastrointestinal bleeding (36%), hypersplenism (6%), or was incidental (18%). Of 71 patients who had endoscopy at presentation 62 (87%) had oesophageal varices. After 11.3 years' follow up 63 (34%) required surgery or TIPS. Ten-year survival rate was 98%, with 90% shunt patency. Spleen size, variceal bleeding and hypersplenism at presentation were predictors of surgery or TIPS (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: PVT is associated with congenital and acquired co-morbidities. History of prematurity, neonatal illnesses and UVC should lead to rule out PVT. Large spleen, variceal bleeding and hypersplenism at presentation predict the need for eventual surgery in a third of cases.