Advances in the management of childhood portal hypertension.Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 May; 9(5):575-83.ER
Portal hypertension is one of the most serious complications of childhood liver disease, and variceal bleeding is the most feared complication. Most portal hypertension results from cirrhosis but extra hepatic portal vein obstruction is the single commonest cause. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy endoscopy remains necessary to diagnose gastro-esophageal varices. Families of children with portal hypertension should be provided with written instructions in case of gastrointestinal bleeding. Children with large varices should be considered for primary prophylaxis on a case-by-case basis. The preferred method is variceal band ligation. Children with acute bleeding should be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics and pharmacotherapy before urgent therapeutic endoscopy. All children who have bled should then receive secondary prophylaxis. The preferred method is variceal band ligation and as yet there is little evidence to support the use of β-blockers. Children with extrahepatic portal vein obstruction should be assessed for suitability of mesoportal bypass.