Objective Congenital intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (IHPSS) are rare vascular malformations resulting in blood bypassing the liver to the systemic circulation. Previous studies included symptomatic patients diagnosed postnatally, but the outcome of IHPSS diagnosed prenatally is rarely reported. We present a cohort of children prenatally diagnosed with IHPSS and report their natural course and outcome.
Methods and design This was a retrospective study of all fetal cases diagnosed by ultrasound with IHPSS between 2006 and 2019 at a single tertiary centre which were prospectively followed up at the paediatric gastroenterology unit. The postnatal outcome was compared between patients with a single versus multiple intrahepatic shunts.
Results Twenty-six patients (70.3% boys) were included in the study, of them, eight (30.8%) patients had multiple intrahepatic shunts. The median gestational age at diagnosis was 29.5 weeks. Growth restriction affected 77% of the cohort. Postnatally, spontaneous shunt closure occurred in 96% of patients at a median age of 7.5 months (IQR 2.2–20 months). Failure to thrive (FTT) and mild developmental delay were observed in eight (30.8%) and seven (26.9%) patients, respectively. FTT was significantly more prevalent in patients with multiple shunts compared with patients with a single shunt (62.5% vs 16.7%, p=0.02); however, the rate of shunt closure and age at time of closure were similar between these groups. All patients survived with limited to no sequelae.
Conclusions IHPSS usually close spontaneously by 2 years of age. Children with prenatally detected IHPSS may develop FTT and mild developmental delay. Close surveillance at a paediatric gastroenterology unit may be beneficial.
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information.
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OSS and TW contributed equally.
Contributors OSS was involved in the conception of work, created data collection plan, interpreted the data and wrote the original draft. TW was involved in the conception of work, created data collection plan, interpreted the data, performed formal analysis and wrote the original draft. RA supervised and guided the data collection, and gave his final approval for the manuscript. MPZ and AAH were part of the data collection team. YH reviewed the manuscript and gave her final approval of the manuscript. BW was involved in the conception of the work and creating the data collection plan. She supervised and revised the manuscript. OS is guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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