Jejunal varices diagnosed by capsule endoscopy in patients with post-liver transplant portal hypertension

Bass, L. M.; Kim, S.; Superina, R.; Mohammad, S.

Pediatr Transplant. 2016 Oct 21; 21(1)


Portal hypertension secondary to portal vein obstruction following liver transplant occurs in 5%-10% of children. Jejunal varices are uncommon in this group. We present a case series of children with significant GI blood loss, negative upper endoscopy, and jejunal varices detected by CE. Case series of patients who had CE for chronic GI blood loss following liver transplantation. Three patients who had their initial transplants at a median age of 7 months were identified at our institution presenting at a median age of 8 years (range 7-16 years) with a median Hgb of 2.8 g/dL (range 1.8-6.8 g/dL). Upper endoscopy was negative for significant esophageal varices, gastric varices, and bleeding portal gastropathy in all three children. All three patients had significant jejunal varices noted on CE in mid-jejunum. Jejunal varices were described as large prominent bluish vessels underneath visualized mucosa, one with evidence of recent bleeding. The results led to venoplasty of the portal vein in two patients and a decompressive shunt in one patient with resolution of GI bleed and anemia. CE is useful to diagnose intestinal varices in children with portal hypertension and GI bleeding following liver transplant.

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