Trans-splenic Access for Portal Venous Interventions in Children: Do Benefits Outweigh Risks?

Sheena Pimpalwar, Ponraj Chinnadurai, Alberto Hernandez, Kamlesh Kukreja, Shakeel Siddiqui, Henri Justino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The primary concern of trans-splenic access for portal interventions is the risk of life-threatening intraperitoneal bleeding. Objective: To review the clinical indications and efficacy and evaluate the risk factors for intraperitoneal bleeding during trans-splenic portal interventions in children. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent trans-splenic portal interventions at a tertiary care pediatric institution between March 2011 and April 2017 was performed. Forty-four procedures were performed in 30 children with a median age of 5 (0.3–18) years. Clinical indications, technical success, procedural success, and incidence of complications were recorded. Potential risk factors for intraperitoneal bleeding were evaluated using Wilcoxon rank and Fisher’s exact tests. Results: Trans-splenic access was 100% successful. In 35/44 (79%) procedures, the subsequent intervention was successful including recanalization of post-transplant portal vein occlusion in 10/13, embolization of bleeding Roux limb varices in 8/8, recanalization of chronic portal vein thrombosis in native liver in 7/13, splenoportography and manometry in 6/6, and occlusion of portosystemic shunts in 4/4 procedures. Intraperitoneal bleeding occurred during 12/44 (27%) procedures and was managed with analgesics, blood transfusion, and peritoneal drainage without the need for splenectomy or splenic artery embolization. Statistically significant correlation of bleeding was found with intraprocedural anticoagulation, but not with patient age, weight, platelet count, INR, ascites, splenic length, splenic venous pressure, vascular sheath size, or tract embolization technique. Conclusion: Trans-splenic access is a useful technique for successful pediatric portal interventions. Although it entails a substantial risk of intraperitoneal bleeding, this can be managed conservatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Gelfoam
  • Intraperitoneal bleeding
  • Microfibrillar collagen
  • Portal hypertension
  • Portal vein intervention
  • Portal vein occlusion
  • Splenoportography
  • Trans-splenic access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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