Clinicopathological Correlation of Portal Hypertension in Children and Management Strategies

  • Asmita Mahajan Consultant, Neonatology and Pediatrics, S. L. Raheja, a Fortis Associate Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra- 400016
  • Radha G. Ghildiyal Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital, Sion, Mumbai – 400022
  • Prachi Karnik Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital, Sion, Mumbai – 400022
Keywords: Portal hypertension, USG abdomen/ Doppler, Endoscopy, Thrombocytopenia, Hypersplenism, Extra- hepatic portal vein obstruction, Wilson’s disease


We studied 51 children with clinical setting of portal hypertension over a period of one and half years. Out of these, 27 (52.94%) were males and 24 (47.05%) were females. All the cases were subjected to biochemical, diagnostic, radiological investigations and liver biopsy. Portal hypertension was diagnosed by demonstrating on USG abdomen/ Doppler, the presence of collaterals of portal vein and esophageal varices on endoscopy. Treatment was initiated depending upon clinical presentation. The most common presenting complaints were hematemesis and malena (35.3%) followed by their combination with abdominal distension (19.6%). 86.3% patients had anemia mostly due to upper GI bleed. 35.3% patients had leucopenia while 47.1% had thrombocytopenia. Only 18 (i.e. 35.3%) had Hypersplenism. Maximum patients who bled more than twice had a mild (41.2%) or severe (29.4%) derangement of prothrombin time. The etiology of portal hypertension turned out to be extra- hepatic portal vein obstruction in 86.3% cases. There were 2 cases each (3.9% each) of Wilson’s disease and Budd-Chiari syndrome. One (2%) was secondary to chronic liver disease due to hepatitis C infection, one was extra- hepatic biliary atresia and one was autoimmune hepatitis. 9.8% cases required drugs in the form of somatostatin drip and all these required a packed cell transfusion as well. 23 patients (45.1%) required only blood transfusion without a somatostatin infusion. Those with severe acute bleeding usually were given somatostatin infusion. The variceal size at presentation was a very important predictor of the morbidity and outcome.


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