Recanalization of Chronic Portal Vein Occlusion in Pediatric Liver Transplant Patients

Heather Cleveland, Sheena Pimpalwar, Daniel Ashton, Alex Chau, Aaditya Nagaraj, J. Alberto Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate technical and clinical success and report long-term outcomes of portal vein (PV) recanalization in pediatric orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) patients with chronic PV occlusion. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective review of 15 OLT patients (5 males) with chronic PV occlusion who underwent PV recanalization (33 procedures) between October 2011 and February 2018. Median age was 4.5 years (range, 1–16 years); median weight was 16.6 kg (range, 11.5–57.3 kg). Median time interval from OLT to first intervention was 3.25 years (range, 0.6–15.7 years). Clinical presentations included hypersplenism (n = 12), gastrointestinal bleeding (n = 9), and ascites (n = 3). One patient had incidental diagnosis of PV occlusion. Primary, primary-assisted, and secondary patency at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months were evaluated. Results: Technically successful PV recanalization and reduction of PV pressure gradient to ≤ 5 mm Hg was performed in 13/15 patients (87%). Ten of 15 (67%) patients had successful recanalization with the first attempt. Clinical success, defined as improvement in signs and symptoms of portal hypertension, was achieved in 12/13 (92%) patients. Five of 33 (15%) major complications (Society of Interventional Radiology class C), including perisplenic hematoma (n = 2), hemoperitoneum (n = 2), and hepatic artery pseudo aneurysm (n = 1), were managed with pain medication and blood product replacement. Median follow-up was 22 months (range, 1–77 months). Median primary patency was 5 months. Primary patency at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months was 53.8%, 46.2%, 38.5%, and 30.8%, respectively. Primary-assisted patency was 84.6%, 76.9%, 53.8%, and 46.2%, respectively. Secondary patency was 92.3%, 84.6%, 53.8%, and 46.2%, respectively. Conclusions: PV recanalization is a safe and effective minimally invasive option in the management of chronic PV occlusion after pediatric OLT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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