Operative timing and patient survival following distal splenorenal shunt

R. A. Pomerantz, F. E. Eckhauser, J. A. Knol, K. Guirre, S. E. Raper, J. G. Turcotte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The importance of 'operative timing' in cirrhotic patients with variceal hemorrhage is often underemphasized. To evaluate the effects of immediate versus delayed selective portasystemic decompression on hepatic function, operative mortality, and long-term patient survival, we reviewed the records of 77 patients who underwent distal splenorenal shunts (DSRS) over a 14-year period. A hepatic risk status score was calculateed at the time of the index bleed (HRS1) or presentation and again just prior to operation (HRS2). Variables analyzed included age, sex, prior bleeding episodes, time from index bleed to operation, transfusion requirements, and etiology of cirrhosis. Operative mortality rates for immediately versus delayed DSRS were 46.2 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively. HRS improved significantly in elective DSRS patients from 1.46 to 1.30. Predictors of HRS2 included HRS1 and time in days from the index bleed to operation. The most important predictor of early survival for all patients after elective DSRS was the HRS2; however, for patients who underwent elective DSRS and survived, HRS1 was a better predictor of length of survival than HRS2. No other variable analyzed accurately predicted survival. We conclude that HRS can be expectged to improve with supportive inhospital therapy; improves HRS at the time of operation is associated with decreased operative mortality; and the extent of liver disease as determined by HRS1 appears to be the chief determinant of long-term patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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