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Ann Surg. 1990 Jul;212(1):97-108.

Selective shunt versus nonshunt surgery for management of both schistosomal and nonschistosomal variceal bleeders.

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Department of Surgery, Mansoura University School of Medicine, Egypt.


This clinical study included 219 (Child A/B) consecutive variceal bleeders. Electively 123 had distal splenorenal shunt (DSRS) and 96 had splenectomy with gastroesophageal devascularization (S&GD). Liver pathology was documented in 73% of patients, with schistosomal fibrosis in 41% and nonalcoholic cirrhosis or mixed pattern (fibrosis and cirrhosis) in 59%. The surgical groups were similar before operation, with a mean follow-up of 82 +/- 13 and 78 +/- 18 months, respectively (range, 60 to 120 months). The two pathologic populations were also similar before each and both procedures. The operative mortality rates were low, with incidences of 3.3% (DSRS) and 3.1% (S&GD). Rebleeding occurred significantly (p less than 0.05) more frequently after S&GD (27%) compared to DSRS (5.7%). Sclerotherapy salvaged 65% of S&GD rebleeders. Encephalopathy developed significantly (p less than 0.05) more after DSRS (18.7%) compared to S&GD (7.3%), with no significant difference among the current survivors. The difference in overall rebleeding and encephalopathy rates between both procedures was statistically related to patients with cirrhosis and mixed lesions (p less than 0.05). Distal splenorenal shunt significantly reduced the endoscopic variceal size more than S&GD (p less than 0.05). Prograde portal perfusion was documented in 94% of patients in each group, with a variable distinct pattern of portaprival collaterals in 91% (DSRS) and 65% (S&GD). The total population cumulative survival was similar with 80% for DSRS and 79% for S&GD (plus sclerosis in 23%), with hepatic cell failure the cause of death in 46% and 50%, respectively. However, in the schistosomal patients, survival was better improved after DSRS (90%) compared to S&GD (75%), with no difference among the cirrhotic and mixed group (DSRS 73%, S&GD 72%). In conclusion (1) both DSRS and S&GD have low operative mortality rates, (2) DSRS is superior to S&GD in the schistosomal patients, and (3) S&GD backed by endosclerosis for rebleeding is a good surgical alternative to selective shunt in the nonalcoholic cirrhotic and mixed population.

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