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Am J Gastroenterol. 1997 Jun;92(6):1026-30.

Changes in liver function parameters after occlusion of gastrorenal shunts with balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan.



To evaluate the effects of portal blood flow on liver function, this pilot study investigated the correlation between changes in portal blood flow as measured by image-directed Doppler ultrasonography and liver function tests in nine patients with cirrhosis who were treated with balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration. All patients had large gastric varices and prominent gastrorenal shunts.


Treatment caused a significant increase (p < 0.01) in portal blood flow; we documented reversion from hepatofugal to hepatopetal portal flow in one patient and increases in hepatopetal flow from 5.4 +/- 1.1 to 7.85 +/- 1.4 cm/s (mean +/- SD) in eight patients. All patients showed decreases in gastric variceal size. However, portal pressure rose significantly in all patients after treatment from 25.4 +/- 7.6 to 30.7 +/- 5.8 mmH2O (n = 7, mean +/- SD), and two of nine patients had worsening of esophageal varices. All nine patients showed improvement in the 15-min retention rate of indocyanine green from 31.8 +/- 16.1 to 21.8 +/- 12.4% (mean +/- SD, p < 0.01), whereas seven patients showed increased serum albumin levels after treatment.


These results suggest balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration increases hepatic portal blood flow, which may be accompanied by improvements in liver function.

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