Objective - To evaluate the use of a portocaval venograft and ameroid constrictor in the surgical management of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (PSS). Study Design - Prospective, clinical study. Animal Population - Ten client-owned dogs with intrahepatic PSS. Methods - Portal pressure was measured after temporary suture occlusion of the intrahepatic PSS. In dogs with an increase in portal pressure greater than 8 mm Hg, a single extrahepatic portocaval shunt was created using a jugular vein. An ameroid ring was placed around the venograft and the intrahepatic PSS was attenuated. Transcolonic pertechnetate scintigraphy was performed before surgery, 5 days after surgery, and 8 to 10 weeks after surgery. Dogs with continued portosystemic shunting were evaluated further by laparotomy or portography. Clinical outcome and complications were recorded. Results - Mean (± SD) portal pressure increased from 6 ± 3 to 19 ± 6 mm Hg with PSS occlusion; in all 10 dogs, the increase in portal pressure was greater than 8 mm Hg. There were no intraoperative complications, and, after creation of the portocaval shunt, the intrahepatic PSS could be completely ligated in 8 of 10 dogs. The final portal pressure was 9 ± 4 mm Hg. Postoperative complications included coagulopathy and death (1 dog), ascites (3 dogs), and incisional discharge (3 dogs). Five of 8 dogs had continued portosystemic shunting at 8 to 10 weeks after surgery. Multiple extrahepatic PSS were demonstrated in 4 of these dogs. Clinical outcome was excellent in all 9 surviving dogs. Conclusions and Clinical Significance - The surgical technique resulted in a high incidence of multiple extrahepatic PSS. Short-term clinical results were promising, but long-term outcome must be evaluated further.
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