Affordable Access

The LeVeen shunt in the elective treatment of intractable ascites in cirrhosis. A prospective study on 140 patients.

Annals of Surgery
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


One hundred and forty patients with an intractable ascites complicating a chronic liver disease received a peritoneovenous shunt (PVS) using the LeVeen valve. Operative mortality was ten per cent but was 25% in patients with severe liver failure. Intraoperative drainage of ascites sharply decreased postoperative complications and mortality. One-year actuarial survival rate was 81.4%, respectively 77.7%, 61.3%, and 24.7% in patients with good liver function and moderate or severe liver failure. Variceal hemorrhage occurred in 11 patients and late infection in another 11 patients. Thirty-eight patients (30.5%) had recurrence of ascites. This was mostly due to an obstruction on the venous side of the shunt. An elective portacaval shunt had to be done in 23 patients for recurrence of ascites or variceal bleeding. Among the 57 patients still alive at time of writing, 51 were free of ascites. These results suggest that PVS is an efficient operation. This procedure may be largely indicated in the selected and small group of cirrhotic patients with true intractable ascites and moderate or no liver insufficiency. Images FIG. 1. FIG. 2.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.