Fetal intrahepatic Umbilical-Porto-Systemic venous shunts (IHUPSVS): In-utero anatomic classification

Reuven Achiron*, Eran Kassif, Zvi Kivilevitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Congenital intrahepatic shunts divert highly oxygen and nutrients rich placental blood flow from the liver into the systemic flow having a negative influence on normal fetal growth and postnatal development. The ability to recognize this anomaly helps assess the possible clinical impact, counseling, and management of pregnancy. The present study aimed to propose in utero classification for the Intrahepatic Umbilical-Porto-Systemic Venous Shunt (IHUPSVS) based on our experience. Study Design: A prospective study. Grayscale ultrasound with two and three-dimensional high-definition Doppler modalities was used. IHUPSVS was defined as a diversion of blood from the liver tissue by abnormal communication between a branch of the intrahepatic Umbilical vein or the Portal veins with the systemic circulation (the Hepatic veins or the Sub-Diaphragmatic Vestibulum). Results: Twenty-five fetuses were diagnosed with IHUPSVS. We identified three main anatomic types: I) Porto-hepatic shunt which was divided into Ia) regular single shunt (15/25, 60%) and Ib) regular multiple shunts, (6/25, 24%) II) Umbilical-Porto-Hepatic shunt divided into a) Umbilical or b) Umbilical combined with Portal hepatic shunt (2/25, 8%) and III) Cavernous- aneurysmatic shunt (2/25, 8%). All the shunts were verified by postnatal targeted sonography. Conclusions: This study creates the anatomic basis for common nomenclature and future probable updating for this anomaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Fetal
  • Intra-hepatic
  • Umbilical-Porto-systemic shunts


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