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Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) modification in the management of post-TIPSS refractory hepatic encephalopathy



Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) modification in the management of post-TIPSS refractory hepatic encephalopathy



Gut 55(11): 1617-1623



Post-transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) hepatic encephalopathy (HE) can occur in up to one third of patients. In 5%, this can be refractory to optimal medical treatment and may require shunt modification. The efficacy of shunt modification has been poorly studied. To evaluate the efficacy of and natural history following TIPSS modification for treatment of refractory HE. From a dedicated database, we selected and further studied patients who had TIPSS modification for refractory HE. Over a 14 year period, of 733 TIPSS insertions, 211(29%) patients developed HE post-TIPSS. In 38 patients, shunt modification (reduction (n = 9) and occlusion (n = 29)) was performed for refractory HE. Indications for TIPSS were: variceal bleeding (n = 32), refractory ascites (n = 5), and other (n = 1). Child's grades A, B, and C were noted in 11%, 47%, and 42% of cases, respectively. HE improved in 58% of patients and remained unchanged or worsened in 42%, with similar results for occlusions and reductions. Following shunt modification, variceal bleeding recurred in three patients and ascites in three. Twenty five patients have died (liver related in 15) at a median duration of 10.2 months. Three patients died due to procedure related complications following shunt occlusions (mesenteric infarction (n = 2) and septicaemia (n = 1)). Median survival of patients whose HE did not improve following shunt modification was 79 days compared with 278 days in patients whose did (p<0.05). No variables independently predicted response to shunt modification. TIPSS modification is a useful option for patients with refractory HE following TIPSS insertion. Due to the significant risk of iatrogenic complications with shunt occlusions, shunt reduction is a safer and preferred option.

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Accession: 012896697

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PMID: 16571635

DOI: 10.1136/gut.2005.089482


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