Research Article| Volume 172, ISSUE 5, P536-540, November 1996

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Is the role of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts limited in the management of patients with end-stage liver disease?

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      Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) are an established method for the treatment of the complications of portal hypertension. Recent reports have suggested that TIPS require frequent follow-up and may interfere with orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT),


      Retrospective chart review was performed of ultrasound studies, angiographic studies, and complications of the first 100 patients treated consecutively with TIPS from February 1992 through October 1995.


      Ninety-seven patients had functional TIPS. Thirty-one percent of patients treated emergently survived, significantly less than the 96% survival of elective patients. Fifty percent of the shunts were found to require angioplasty by 5 months. Seventeen patients treated with OLT did well, without intraoperative bleeding problems, and are alive.


      The TIPS method treats successfully the complications of portal hypertension but requires careful follow-up. The technique may be used prior to OLT. For non-OLT candidates, the cost effectiveness of TIPS versus surgical shunting remains in question.
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