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Radiology. 1993 Dec;189(3):795-801.

Refractory ascites: early experience in treatment with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, UMHC, Minneapolis.



To evaluate the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in treatment of refractory ascites.


Fourteen patients with chronic liver disease and portal hypertension were included in a prospective study. Six patients had Child-Pugh class B disease; eight had class C disease. Indications for TIPS were three previous hospital admissions over 9 months for treatment of tense ascites, no response to diuretic therapy, or an occluded peritoneovenous shunt with tense ascites. The volume of ascitic fluid was sonographically evaluated before and after TIPS placement.


The technical success rate for TIPS creation was 93%. Mean portosystemic gradient decreased from 22.8 mm Hg +/- 7.2 before TIPS placement to 11.3 mm Hg +/- 3.6 after TIPS (P = .005). Complete resolution of ascites was achieved in seven (50%) patients. Treatment failed in seven; five had Child-Pugh class C disease, and four of these had a Child-Pugh score greater than 11.


These results are comparable to those for other forms of treatment of ascites. The authors do not, however, recommend TIPS in patients with a Child-Pugh score greater than 11.

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