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J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Apr;47(4):688-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2011.10.065.

Mesoportal bypass using a constructed saphenous vein graft for extrahepatic portal vein obstruction--technique, feasibility, and outcomes.

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Section of Paediatric Surgery, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, 00029-HUS, Helsinki, Finland.



The internal jugular vein is routinely used as a graft for the Rex shunt. We analyzed results of mesoportal bypass using an alternative autologous graft.


Twenty-one children with extrahepatic portal vein obstruction were treated with a Rex shunt constructed using both greater saphenous veins. Follow-up included ultrasound and blood count screening at 3, 6, and 12 months and annually thereafter.


Median age was 8.7 years (range, 3.6-14 years), and follow-up time, 5.3 years (range, 0.6-7.1 years). Occlusion or narrowing occurred in 6 patients after a median of 20 months (range, 2.6-52 months). In 2 cases, patency was restored, giving an overall success rate of 81%. During follow-up, no variceal bleeding occurred while hemoglobin, platelet count, and leukocyte levels increased (P ≤ .02 for all) and spleen size decreased (P = .001). Patients with occlusive shunt complications weighed less (P = .01), had higher preoperative platelet levels (P = .02), and tended to have a smaller spleen preoperatively (P = .06) than patients without shunt complications. Cumulative graft patency at 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years was 100%, 89%, 82%, and 74%, respectively.


Rex shunt constructed using the greater saphenous veins is a valuable alternative to the internal jugular vein graft, allowing long-term reversal of portal hypertension, splenomegaly, and hypersplenism. Low patient weight and high platelet count predicted shunt occlusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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