Selective Shunt Versus Nonshunt Surgery for Management of Both Schistosomal and Nonschistosomal Variceal Bleeders

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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 $pM 13 and 78 $pM 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 < 0.05) more frequently after S&GD (27%) compared to DSRS (5.7%). Sclerotherapy salvaged 65% of S&GD rebleeders. Encephalopathy developed significantly (p < 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 < 0.05). Distal splenorenal shunt significantly reduced the endoscopie variceal size more than S&GD (p < 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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