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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2006 Oct;17(10):1605-10.

Predictors of early mortality after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation for the treatment of refractory ascites.

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Section of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of Imaging Sciences, University of Rochester, Box 648, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



Currently there is no consensus regarding a target portosystemic gradient (PSG) after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation for the treatment of refractory ascites. The goal of this study was to examine whether the PSG after TIPS creation is predictive of subsequent mortality risk.


Retrospective review of 99 patients who underwent successful TIPS creation for refractory ascites between January 1997 and December 2004 was performed. Follow-up consisted of clinic and emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and radiology studies (mean, 7 months). Comparison of baseline patient characteristics was performed between survivors and patients who died. Survival rates were calculated with use of the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test based on Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores and PSGs before and after TIPS creation. Univariate and multivariate analysis of potential predictors of mortality was performed with Cox proportional-hazards analysis.


Sixteen patients died during follow-up (mean, 1.9 months after TIPS creation). The patients who died had significantly higher MELD scores before TIPS creation than did survivors (P = .04) and significantly lower PSGs before and after TIPS creation (P = .02 and P = .03, respectively). Survival rates were significantly lower for patients with higher MELD scores (P = .01) and lower PSGs before TIPS creation (P = .01) and after TIPS creation (P = .01). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that Child class C cirrhosis, MELD score greater than 25, and PSG less than 8 mm Hg after TIPS creation were the most significant predictors of mortality (increased likelihood by factors of 4, 5, and 3, respectively).


Excessive reduction of the PSG along with severe liver dysfunction is associated with an increased risk of mortality after TIPS creation in patients presenting with refractory ascites.

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