Congenital portosystemic venous shunt

Eur J Pediatr. 2018 Mar;177(3):285-294. doi: 10.1007/s00431-017-3058-x. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


Congenital portosystemic venous shunts are rare developmental anomalies resulting in diversion of portal flow to the systemic circulation and have been divided into extra- and intrahepatic shunts. They occur during liver and systemic venous vascular embryogenesis and are associated with other congenital abnormalities. They carry a higher risk of benign and malignant liver tumors and, if left untreated, can result in significant medical complications including systemic encephalopathy and pulmonary hypertension.

Conclusion: This article reviews the various types of congenital portosystemic shunts and their anatomy, pathogenesis, symptomatology, and timing and options of treatment. What is Known: • The natural history and basic management of this rare congenital anomaly are presented. What is New: • This paper is a comprehensive review; highlights important topics in pathogenesis, clinical symptomatology, and treatment options; and proposes an algorithm in the management of congenital portosystemic shunt disease in order to provide a clear idea to a pediatrician. An effort has been made to emphasize the indications for treatment in the children population and link to the adult group by discussing the consequences of lack of treatment or delayed diagnosis.

Keywords: Congenital; Portosystemic; Shunt.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / embryology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / therapy
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Ligation
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Portal Vein / abnormalities*
  • Portal Vein / embryology
  • Vascular Malformations* / diagnosis
  • Vascular Malformations* / embryology
  • Vascular Malformations* / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Patent Ductus Venosus