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Hepatology. 1996 Dec;24(6):1433-6.

Phenprocoumon for prevention of shunt occlusion after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt: a randomized trial.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Development of stenosis or occlusion of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) is one of the major limiting factors in the long-term viability of this procedure. The efficacy of anticoagulation with heparin which is used in different centers is still unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of phenprocoumon on shunt patency after TIPSS placement using Palmaz stents; 49 patients with Child's A and B cirrhosis, who underwent successful TIPSS placement were randomized into the treatment group (n = 24) who received phenprocoumon and a control group (n = 25). After 11 to 13 weeks, all patients were admitted and had a reevaluation that included control angiography by transjugular approach. Phenprocoumon treatment was stopped after the first reevaluation and both groups were followed for 1 year after randomization. During the 3-month treatment period 11 of 22 patients of the treatment group and 12 of 23 patients of the control group required reintervention because of an increased portosystemic gradient. Five of the 12 patients in the control group showed complete occlusion of the shunt, whereas no occlusion in the treatment group was observed (P < .05). During the mean follow-up of 8 months after the treatment was stopped, in both groups stenosis occurred in 50% of patients, but no further occlusion of the stent was observed. These data indicate that occlusion of the stent is related to thrombosis, whereas stenosis does not appear to be dependent on blood coagulation. In patients with preserved liver function occlusion of the shunt may be prevented by phenprocoumon treatment in the first 3 months after TIPSS placement. Thereafter shunt occlusion was not observed and further phenprocoumon treatment seemed unnecessary.

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