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Extrahepatic portal venous obstruction: The effects of early ligation of splenic artery during splenectomy

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Author(s): Gazula Suhasini | Pawar D | Seth T | Bal C | Bhatnagar V

Journal: Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
ISSN 0971-9261

Volume: 14;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 194;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Extra hepatic portal venous obstruction | hypersplenism | platelets | red blood cells | splenectomy | transfusion

ABSTRACT
Aim: To objectively demonstrate the gain in blood volume and blood components following early ligation of splenic artery during splenectomy and splenorenal shunts in children with extra hepatic portal venous obstruction (EHPVO). Methods: Twenty-eight children (20 males and 8 females, mean age: 9.9 (±3.2) years) with EHPVO and hypersplenism were recruited. We followed a protocol of systematically locating and ligating the splenic artery first, followed by a 30-minute waiting period to allow the massive spleen to decongest via the splenic vein and venous collaterals and then completing the splenectomy by standard procedure. No intravenous fluid was administered during this 30-minute period. Blood samples were drawn just prior to splenic artery ligation and soon after splenectomy for the estimation of hematological and biochemical parameters. Results: We noticed a highly significant increase in the hemoglobin, hematocrit, leukocyte, platelet, and RBC counts by early ligation of the splenic artery (p < 0.0004). The gain in hemoglobin and hematocrit was equivalent to a transfusion of atleast 100-150 ml of packed RBC. The increase in platelet count was equivalent to a platelet transfusion of atleast 4 units of platelet concentrates in an adult. There is a positive correlation between the splenic weight and the platelet gain (p= 0.0568) and the splenic volume on preoperative imaging and the platelet gain (p= 0.0251). Conclusion: Early ligation of the splenic artery during splenectomy results in passive splenic decongestion and thereby a significant gain in blood components. This protocol appears to be a feasible blood conservation method to avoid blood transfusions in this group of hypersplenic EHPVO patients.
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