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MR angiography and 2-D phase-contrast imaging for evaluation of meso-rex bypass function

Stefek, H. A.; Rigsby, C. K.; Berhane, H.; Popescu, A. R.; Rajeswaran, S.; Superina, R. A.

Pediatr Radiol. 2018 Nov 2; 49(2):168-174


BACKGROUND: The meso-Rex bypass restores blood flow to the liver in patients with extrahepatic portal vein thrombosis. Stenosis occurs in some cases, causing the reappearance of portal hypertension. Complications such as thrombocytopenia present on a spectrum and there are currently no guidelines regarding a threshold for endovascular intervention. While Doppler ultrasound (US) is common for routine evaluation, magnetic resonance (MR) angiography with two-dimensional phase-contrast MRI (2-D PC-MRI) may improve the assessment of meso-Rex bypass function. OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility and utility of MR angiography with 2-D PC-MRI in evaluating children with meso-Rex bypass and to correlate meso-Rex bypass blood flow to markers of portal hypertension. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MR angiography and 2-D PC-MRI in meso-Rex bypass patients were retrospectively analyzed. Minimum bypass diameter was measured on MR angiography and used to calculate cross-sectional area. Meso-Rex bypass blood flow was measured using 2-D PC-MRI and divided by ascending aortic flow to quantify bypass flow relative to systemic circulation. Platelet and white blood cell counts were recorded. Correlation was performed between minimum bypass area, blood flow and clinical data. RESULTS: Twenty-five children (median age: 9.5 years) with meso-Rex bypass underwent MR angiography and 2-D PC-MRI. The majority of patients were referred to imaging given clinical concern for complications. Eighteen of the 25 patients demonstrated >50% narrowing of the bypass cross-sectional area. The mean platelet count in 19 patients was 127 K/muL. There was a significant correlation between minimum cross-sectional bypass area and bypass flow (rho=0.469, P=0.018) and between bypass flow and platelet counts (r=0.525, P=0.021). CONCLUSION: Two-dimensional PC-MRI can quantify meso-Rex bypass blood flow relative to total systemic flow. In a cohort of 25 children, bypass flow correlated to minimum bypass area and platelet count. Two-dimensional PC-MRI may be valuable alongside MR angiography to assess bypass integrity.

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