Purpose: To evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the percutaneous treatment of portal venous stenoses in children and adolescents with reduced-size hepatic transplants.
Materials and methods: During the past 5 years, percutaneous transhepatic balloon venoplasty was attempted in 25 children and adolescents with anastomotic portal venous stenoses that occurred after reduced-size hepatic transplantation. All procedures were performed with direct puncture of the intrahepatic portal vein and with subsequent balloon dilation. Intravascular stents were deployed in patients with suboptimal results after dilation or with recurrent stenoses.
Results: Percutaneous venoplasty was technically successful in 19 of 25 patients. In the remaining six patients, portal venous occlusion precluded access to the extrahepatic portal vein. Intravascular stents were deployed in 12 patients for "elastic" (n = 5) or recurrent (n = 7) stenoses. Seven patients who underwent successful venoplasty without stent placement have required no further intervention. All stents have remained patent without further intervention. Portal venous patency has been maintained for 5-61 months (mean time, 46 months) in all 19 patients.
Conclusion: Percutaneous treatment of portal venous stenoses is effective and long lasting in children with reduced-size hepatic transplants. In patients with elastic or recurrent lesions, portal venous stents have excellent long-term primary patency despite continued patient growth. Successful, percutaneous transhepatic venoplasty eliminates the need for surgical revision, portacaval shunting, or repeat transplantation.