The ligation of the splenic vein during pancreaticoduodenectomy with synchronous resection of the spleno-mesenteric-portal venous confluence has been associated with the development of left portal hypertension despite preservation of the natural confluence with the inferior mesenteric vein. This study aimed to assess whether a left splenorenal venous shunt might mitigate clinical signs of left portal hypertension associated with splenic vein ligation.
We retrospectively evaluated the presence of left portal hypertension based on biologic and radiologic parameters in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy with synchronous resection of the spleno-mesentericoportal confluence between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2018. We compared several parameters between patients undergoing splenic vein ligation with preservation of the inferior mesenteric vein confluence and a splenorenal venous shunt: the early and late spleen volumes and spleen volume ratios, an early and late platelet count, the presence of thrombocytopenia, the presence of varices, and digestive bleeding in the long-term.
There were 114 consecutive patients: 36 with splenic vein ligation and 78 with splenorenal venous shunt. All had a pancreaticogastrostomy. Patients with splenic vein ligation had a comparable baseline and early and late platelet counts. Although baseline splenic volumes were comparable between the 2 groups (242 ± 115 mL vs 261 ± 138 mL; P = .51), patients with splenic vein ligation showed a statistically significant greater splenic volume beyond the 6th postoperative months (334 ± 160 mL vs 241 ± 111 mL; P = .004), higher early and late spleen volume ratios (1.42 ± 0.67 vs 1.10 ± 0.3; P = .001 and 1.38 ± 0.38 vs 0.97 ± 0.4; P = .0001) than patients with splenorenal venous shunt. Splenic vein ligation was also associated with a higher rate of varices (81% vs 50%; P = .002) and more frequent varices with a caliber greater than 1 cm (57% vs 36%; P = .05) and more colonic varices (33% vs 12%; P = .01). Only 1 patient had long-term digestive bleeding (splenic vein ligation).
The left splenorenal shunt decreases clinical signs of left portal hypertension associated with splenic vein ligation and inferior mesenteric vein confluence preservation.
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Published online: June 11, 2020
Accepted: April 16, 2020
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