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Congenital Shunts of the Portal Venous System: Case-series of Uncommon Shunts

Liliana Santos, Susana Nobre, Nadia Laezza, Catarina Cunha, Isabel Gonçalves, Maria F. Lopes


Background and aims. Congenital shunts of the portal venous system are rare entities that can present in children with clinical heterogeneity. To evaluate the clinical course of children with uncommon shunts presenting to our institution and examine the available literature on this topic. Medical records of children with rare forms of congenital shunts were retrospectively reviewed for demographics, symptoms, management, and outcome between 2003 and 2016. Results. Three female patients with congenital shunts, including a congenital mesenterico-portal Rex shunt (n = 1) and congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSS) (n = 2), were referred for surgical evaluation between ages 4 and 9. Median follow-up was 8 years (range, 6-13 years). One asymptomatic patient did not require treatment and remained disease-free during long-term follow-up. The other 2 patients with CPSS and unusual symptoms, including liver focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) in infancy (n = 1) and bleeding from esophageal varices (n = 1), showed subsequent progression to liver nodules that were managed by endovascular shunt occlusion. One patient showed symptom resolution and the other showed stable lesions at last follow-up. Literature yielded descriptions of two cases of congenital mesenterico-portal Rex shunt, one case of coincident CPSS and FNH in infancy, but zero reports of bleeding from esophageal varices. Conclusions. This case series examines each distinct patient's presentation, discusses the diagnosis, management and outcome and compares findings while discussing literature on this topic. A high index of suspicion and familiarity with unusual forms and treatment options is required to allow timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Key words. Congenital portosystemic shunt., Congenital mesenterico-portal Rex shunt., Portal venous system., Rex shunt., Pediatrics.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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