Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation in liver transplant recipients with recurrent portal hypertension presenting with refractory ascites. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of transplant recipients undergoing TIPS creation was performed over a 6-year period. Recipients were noted for age, sex, TIPS indication, Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, cause of initial liver disease, and time between first transplantation and TIPS creation. Clinical success was defined as graft survival of longer than 1 month with improvement in ascites. New-onset or worsening encephalopathy was noted. Graft survival and patency were calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method. MELD score and portosystemic gradient (PSG) before and after TIPS creation were evaluated for prediction of graft loss less than 3 months after TIPS creation. Results: Nineteen liver transplant recipients underwent TIPS creation for ascites. Mean time from transplantation was 3.5 years (range, 3.7-112.2 months). Mean MELD score before TIPS creation was 17 (range, 7-24). The technical, hemodynamic, and clinical success rates were 100%, 95%, and 16%, respectively. Encephalopathy developed in five patients (26%). Thirty- and 90-day mortality rates were 16% (n = 3) and 21% (n = 4), respectively. Primary unassisted patency and graft survival rates at 1, 3, and 6 months were 100%, 90%, and 90% and 79%, 58%, and 47%, respectively. MELD score parameters were significant indicators (P < .05) for graft survival beyond 3 months, but PSG parameters were not. Conclusions: TIPS for the management of ascites in liver transplant recipients is not as clinically effective as it is in patients with native livers (16% vs 50%-80% in the literature). MELD score is a predictor of graft survival; PSG parameters are not.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine