Calibrated portacaval H-graft shunt in variceal hemorrhage. Long-term results.Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Nov-Dec; 50(54):2000-4.H
To analyze the long-term outcome of the calibrated portacaval shunt in the treatment of portal hypertension.
Between 1991 and 1996 we undertook a prospective non-randomized study, including 37 cirrhotic patients who underwent small diameter portacaval shunt with polytetrafluoroethylene H-graft, 24 cases with 8 mm and 13 cases with 10 mm. Early and late complications, and survival were analyzed.
Overall, 28 corresponded to Child-Pugh class A, 5 to class B and 4 to class C. The cause of cirrhosis was alcoholic in 16 cases, postnecrotic in 12, mixed in 5, primary biliary cirrhosis in 2 and unknown in 1. Postoperative mortality was 10%. Long-term results, after a follow-up of 3-8 years, have shown a rebleeding rate of 12%, mainly after the third postoperative year. Some degree of encephalopathy occurred in 23% of the patients, but in no case was this chronic or incapacitating. The rate of early thrombosis was 5%, but in all cases it was repermeabilized with local thrombolysis. The late thrombosis rate was 6%. The 3-, 5- and 7-year survival rates were 79%, 57%, and 36%, respectively. These rates were not statistically related with the shunt diameter or the etiology of the cirrhosis.
Partial portacaval shunt is a safe option for the treatment of variceal bleeding due to portal hypertension. We consider it to be the treatment of choice in a selected group of cirrhotic patients with well-preserved liver function, after previous failure of medical therapy. Furthermore, it can also be used as a bridge until liver transplantation.