Original communication| Volume 83, ISSUE 2, P164-172, February 1978

Graft interposition splenocaval shunt for total or selective decompression of portal hypertension

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      A new operation for selective or total decompression of the portal venous system in cases of intrahepatic portal hypertension is described. It involves interposition of a large-caliber Dacron graft between the splenic vein and the inferior vena cava. The graft-interposition splenocaval shunt is performed readily and quickly, satisfying the variable hemodynamic needs of patients with portal hypertension. It can be either selective (S-SCS) or total (T-SCS) from the beginning, or a T-SCS may be converted subsequently to a S-SCS should surgically induced hepatic decompensation supervene. It is less demanding technically than distal splenorenal shunt (D-SRS). The S-SCS conserves portal venous perfusion of the liver, preserves hepatocellular function and architecture at the preoperative levels, avoids precipitation of postshunt portalsystemic encephalopathy, and decompresses gastric-esophageal varices with prevention of further variceal bleeding even better than D-SRS. One hundred percent graft patency has been obtained, and the surgical results have been superior to those following portacaval shunt in patients with large liver blood flow and relative benignity of the liver disease, be it cirrhosis or noncirrhotic portal fibrosis. In patients with advanced cirrhosis, vanceal bleeding, and small liver blood flows, T-SCS would be indicated. Patients of this category obtained inferior surgical results and had operative deaths (16.7%) following S-SCS. The concept of the operation has merits and deserves further evaluation.
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