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Vasc Endovascular Surg. 2013 May;47(4):281-7. doi: 10.1177/1538574413485646.

The effect of balloon-occluded transvenous obliteration of gastric varices and gastrorenal shunts on the hepatic synthetic function: a comparison between Child-Pugh and model for end-stage liver disease scores.

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Division of Vascular Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology & Medical Imaging, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA.



To evaluate the effect of balloon-occluded transvenous obliteration (BRTO) on the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) and the Child-Pugh (C-P) score and their individual components.


A retrospective review of patients undergoing only BRTO without transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt was performed (08, 2007 to 06, 2010). Pre- and post-BRTO MELD and C-P scores were calculated. The post-BRTO MELD and C-P score samplings were categorized as (1) immediate (within 14 days), (2) early (14-90 days), and (3) delayed (90-180 days) post-BRTO. The C-P and MELD scores and their individual components before and after (various sample intervals) were compared.


A total of 29 consecutive successful BRTO procedures were found and assessed. In all, 26 had immediate post-BRTO sampling (average 1.8 days after BRTO), 13 (57%) had an early post-BRTO sampling (average 47 days from BRTO), and 10 (38%) had a delayed post-BRTO sampling (average 121 days from BRTO). The bilirubin rises significantly (P = .007) within days after BRTO, but synthetic function improves significantly between 1.5 and 4.0 months post-BRTO (international normalized ration: P = .02, bilirubin: P = .027, and albumin: P = .012). However, 31% (N = 8/ 26) of the patients had worsening ascites with or without hydrothorax. The MELD score significantly improved circa 4 months post-BRTO (from 14.1 to 10.7, P = .0008). However, the C-P score did not change significantly (from 7.6 to 6.7, P = .063).


The BRTO has a positive effect on the hepatic synthetic function. However, there is a high incidence of post-BRTO ascites (31% of the patients). As a result, the MELD score appears to be a more sensitive gauge for hepatic synthetic function compared to the C-P score for patients undergoing BRTO.


BRTO; MELD score; gastric varices

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