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Imre Fehervari, Laszlo Szonyi, Janos Fazakas, Zsuzsa Gerlei, Istvan Lazar
Ann Transplant 2011; 16(2): 109-112
Background: The transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is widely used for the treatment of portal hypertension in adults, but no studies have defined the best approach to treat portal hypertension in pediatric patients. Pediatric use of TIPS is rare even in large centers of adult practice. The migration of stents has also been reported as a complication in adults. There is no standard way to treat this type of complication, and it is not always clear whether immediate removal or watchful waiting is safer for the patient.
Case Report: We report the case of an 11-year-old patient who underwent urgent TIPS implantation due to variceal bleeding, after unsuccessful sclerotherapy. During the procedure, due to the deep impact of the stent, a second, telescopic, stent was inserted. The portal pressure decreased, no further bleeding occurred, and the patient was listed for transplantation. Three weeks later a routine chest X-ray discovered the migration of the second stent into the right ventricle. No interventional radiological removal or open heart surgery was available for the transplant waiting list patient. The patient underwent uneventful combined liver-kidney transplantation. During the 6-year follow-up period the child had no signs of hemodynamic instability, and his somatic and mental development were appropriate.
Conclusions: To our knowledge this case is the first publication on a heart-impacted TIPS stent in a child. The watchful waiting was justified by uneventful combined liver-kidney transplantation and long-term follow-up. This case also underlines the need for best practice guidelines in pediatric portal hypertension.