Angioplasty treatment of portal vein stenosis in children with segmental liver transplants: mid-term results

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997 Aug;169(2):551-4. doi: 10.2214/ajr.169.2.9242775.


Objective: Percutaneous venoplasty has showed excellent technical success and excellent early results in treating portal vein stenoses in children with reduced-size liver transplants. We review the mid-term results in 22 children in whom portal venoplasty was attempted.

Subjects and methods: During 27 months, percutaneous transhepatic portal venoplasty was attempted in 22 children with portal vein stenoses. Patients presented with symptoms of portal vein hypertension or were identified by routine surveillance with posttransplantation Doppler sonography. All stenoses were verified with angiography. Venoplasty was performed by direct puncture of an intrahepatic portal vein before balloon angioplasty of the stenotic segment. Patients were followed up with sonographic surveillance, and reintervention was performed as needed. In patients who had suboptimal results after portal venoplasty or who developed recurrent stenoses, intravascular stents were placed across stenoses.

Results: In 16 of 22 patients, initial clinical and technical success was achieved. In the six patients who underwent unsuccessful procedures, complete occlusion of the portal vein precluded access to the extrahepatic portal vein. Of the 16 patients who underwent successful procedures, intravascular stents were placed at the time of initial venoplasty in five patients for elastic stenosis. In seven other patients, portal vein restenosis occurred after venoplasty (mean, 6.3 months), necessitating intravascular stent placement. Four patients who underwent successful venoplasty without stent placement have required no further intervention. Portal vein patency has been maintained in all 16 patients who underwent technically successful procedures for 4-29 months (mean, 20 months).

Conclusion: In children with reduced-size liver transplants who experience delayed portal vein stenosis, percutaneous transhepatic portal venoplasty has achieved encouraging mid-term results. It is the procedure of choice in our hospital and often eliminates the need for surgical revision, portacaval shunting, or retransplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Portal Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Portal Vein / pathology*
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Radiography
  • Recurrence
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler