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QJM. 1994 Sep;87(9):565-73.

Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent-shunt (TIPSS): long-term follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK.


We assessed the long-term efficacy of transjugular intrahepatic portasystemic stent-shunt (TIPSS) in 64 patients. Insertion was successful in 56 patients (87.5%). The reasons for its use were: variceal bleeding (49); ascites (6); portal hypertensive gastropathy (6); hypersplenism (2); and embolization of a spontaneous shunt (1). Fourteen patients were Childs A, 20 Childs B and 28 Childs C cirrhotics. Two patients were non-cirrhotic; one with amyloidosis and one with non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis. Patients were followed clinically and radiologically (Doppler ultrasonography and routine portography at 6 months). During 33 patient-years of follow-up, 22 died, 12 during index admission (two were procedure-related) and nine were transplanted. Twenty-five patients are alive, with a mean survival of 7.1 (SD 7) months. Variceal rebleeding occurred in 10 patients (22.7%), one of whom died, and was always associated with shunt insufficiency (shunt thrombosis 2, hepatic vein stenosis (HVS) 1, intimal hyperplasia (IH) 4, dislocated stent 1, inadequate stent 2). Clinical encephalopathy was induced in seven patients (17.1%) following TIPSS. All responded to medical therapy, but two required reduction in shunt size. Ascites improved after TIPSS in 36 patients (87.8%), but reaccumulated in seven (17.5%), associated with shunt dysfunction in five (SBP 2, IH 3, HVS 2). Fatal sepsis occurred in two patients, and 14 other episodes of infection required antibiotics. TIPSS is a useful treatment for variceal bleeding, resistant ascites and portal hypertensive gastropathy. Shunt dysfunction and sepsis occur frequently, and regular surveillance is necessary.

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