Unconventional shunt surgery for non-cirrhotic portal hypertension in patients not suitable for proximal splenorenal shunt

Ann Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2023 Aug 31;27(3):264-270. doi: 10.14701/ahbps.23-002. Epub 2023 Jun 26.


Backgrounds/aims: Proximal splenorenal shunt (PSRS) is a commonly performed procedure to decompress portal hypertension, in patients with refractory variceal bleed, especially in non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (NCPH). If conventional methods are hindered by any technical or pathological factors, alternative surgical techniques may be required. This study analyzes the effectiveness of various unconventional shunt surgeries performed for NCPH.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of NCPH patients who underwent unconventional shunt surgeries during the period July 2011 to June 2022 was conducted. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 12 months with doppler study of the shunt to assess shunt patency, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to evaluate the regression of varices.

Results: During the study period, 130 patients underwent shunt surgery; among these, 31 underwent unconventional shunts (splenoadrenal shunt [SAS], 12; interposition mesocaval shunt [iMCS], 8; interposition PSRS [iPSRS], 6; jejunal vein-cava shunt [JCS], 3; left gastroepiploic-renal shunt [LGERS], 2). The main indications for unconventional shunts were left renal vein aberration (SAS, 8/12), splenic vein narrowing (iMCS, 5/8), portalhypertensive vascular changes (iPSRS, 6/6), and portomesenteric thrombosis (JCS, 3/3). The median fall in portal pressure was more in SAS (12.1 mm Hg), and operative time more in JCS, 8.4 hours (range, 5-9 hours). During a median follow-up of 36 months (6-54 months), shunt thrombosis had been reported in all cases of LGERS, and less in SAS (3/12). Variceal regression rate was high in SAS, and least in LGERS. Hypersplenism had reversed in all patients, and 6/31 patients had a recurrent bleed.

Conclusions: Unconventional shunt surgery is effective in patients unsuited for other shunts, especially PSRS, and it achieves the desired effects in a significant proportion of patients.

Keywords: Esophageal and gastric varices; Idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension; Portal hypertension; Portasystemic shunt; Splenorenal shunts.