The distribution of portal flow between the hepatic and systemic circulations was assessed in dogs using gamma-labeled radioactive microspheres. In control dogs all flow went to the liver. After side-to-side portacaval shunt, no flow went to the liver with all the injected microspheres entering the systemic circulation and becoming lodged in the lung. In contrast, interposition mesocaval and portacaval shunts resulted in preservation of 23 to 70% of hepatic portal blood flow.
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