The portal vein-variceal anastomosis: An important technique for establishing portal vein inflow

Sophoclis P. Alexopoulos, Elizabeth Thomas, Emily Berry, Gilbert Whang, Lea Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Adequate portal vein inflow is critical to successful orthotopic liver transplantation. While an end-to-end donor to recipient portal vein anastomosis is fashioned in the majority of liver transplant recipients, approximately 2% of recipients will require a complex vascular reconstruction due to inadequate recipient portal vein inflow. In this series, we describe our experience with five patients in which porto-variceal anastomosis was used to treat extensive porto-mesenteric thrombosis. Methods: Charts for patients who underwent liver transplantation from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2011, were reviewed for patients requiring porto-variceal anastomosis. Results: Five patients had extensive porto-splenomesenteric thrombosis requiring utilization of a varix as portal inflow. An iliac vein graft was utilized in four patients, and a direct anastomosis was performed in one patient. The patient with the direct anastomosis required revision with the use of an iliac vein graft the following day. Follow-up imaging documented portal vein patency at a minimum of three months post-transplant. No patients suffered post-operative variceal hemorrhage and all five patients are alive with a functional primary graft at a median follow-up of 2.3 yr. Conclusions: A porto-variceal anastomosis should be feasible in the majority of patients with extensive porto-mesenteric thrombosis with excellent durability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Allograft
  • Liver transplantation
  • Portal vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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