Splenic embolization in treatment of portal vein occlusion deferring liver transplantation.Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Sep-Oct; 50(53):1614-6.H
The number of liver transplantations performed in this country is limited to the availability of cadaver liver donors, which are always short of demand. Deterioration of patient's clinical condition during the long wait for a compatible donor usually casts a poor prognosis on the patient. We report a 6-year-old girl who underwent splenic artery embolization as an alternative procedure due to a life-threatening clinical condition while liver graft was not immediately available. She was a case of idiopathic portal hypertension with portal vein occlusion that had resulted in splenomegaly, pancytopenia, gastric and esophageal varices. Living graft transplantation was contraindicated due to portal vein lesion. She was listed as high-urgency for liver transplantation as she developed repeated esophageal variceal bleeding requiring frequent sclerotherapy and admission to the intensive care unit. Prevention of the ongoing worsening clinical complications, improvement of hematological disorders and correction of hypersplenism was achieved right after splenic artery embolization. The patient resumed normal daily life and has been successfully eliminated from the waiting list of liver transplantation. We conclude that this is a safe and effective alternative to splenectomy that might call of further liver transplantation.