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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1998 Jan;26(1):39-43.

Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt and cardiac arrhythmias.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Vienna, Austria.


The approach to the liver for a transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunt (TIPS) is through the venous system. Because catheter and guidewire system traverses the heart, cardiac arrhythmias may be expected during the procedure. We have prospectively investigated the incidence of such dysrhythmias during TIPS implantation. Twelve consecutive patients, 4 women and 8 men aged 26 to 75 years (mean, 58 +/- 13 years), were studied. Before and on the day of TIPS implantation, a 24-hour Holter recording was performed. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt implantation was performed under local anesthesia (lidocaine) and sedoanalgesia (midazolam and fentanyl). None of the patients had concomitant cardiac disease or electrolyte disturbances. In all patients except one, TIPS implantation was successful without any technical complications. A mean of 43 +/- 5.3 hours of Holter recording was performed before and after TIPS implantation. All recordings obtained during this control period were considered inconspicuous. The mean heart rate was significantly higher during the implantation procedure of 136 +/- 37 minutes' duration (83 +/- 20 beats per minute vs 70 +/- 19 beats per minute; p < 0.01). Nine of the 12 patients experienced episodes of nonsustained supraventricular tachycardias, and one patient had two sustained supraventricular tachycardias. Frequent episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardias developed in 75% of the patients. It seems clear that TIPS implantation is frequently associated with supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias even in patients with apparently good cardiac condition at the beginning of the procedure. Thus close cardiac monitoring with resuscitation equipment immediately available throughout the procedure is mandatory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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