Effectiveness of Rex shunt in the treatment of portal hypertension

Roshni Dasgupta, Eve Roberts, Riccardo A. Superina, Peter C. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Children with portal venous thrombosis often have severe symptoms secondary to portal hypertension including recurrent upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeds and hypersplenism. We report results of the use of the mesenterico-left portal bypass (Rex shunt) in 5 consecutive patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all patients with portal venous thrombosis who underwent Rex shunt procedure was performed. Children were evaluated preoperatively with magnetic resonance angiogram, Doppler ultrasound, and mesenteric angiogram. Postoperative ultrasounds were performed in follow-up. Results: All patients had evidence of portal hypertension and hypersplenism. The average age of the patients was 13.2 ± 4.9 (7-19) years. The patient had an average of 2.6 ± 1.7 UGI bleeds requiring banding and 3.4 ± 4.2 U of blood transfused before undergoing the shunt. The mean operative time was 383 ± 46 minutes, and length of stay was 10.4 ± 7.1 days. In follow-up of 18.8 ± 5.2 months (11-24 months), all but 1 patient had a patent shunt. One narrowed shunt was successfully dilated by percutaneous angioplasty. Thrombocytopenia improved significantly in patients with functioning shunts but did not correlate with a significant decrease in splenic size. Conclusions: The Rex shunt reestablishes normal hepatopedal portal flow, and in patients with functioning shunts, no recurrent UGI bleeds or transfusions were required or evidence of encephalopathy were noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Portal hypertension
  • Portal venous thrombosis
  • Rex shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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