Transjugular intrahepatic portal‐systemic shunts (TIPS) – initial experience and clinical outcome

G. S. Hebbard, G. Fitt, K. R. Thomson, P. W. Angus, R. Jones, R. B. Sewell, P. R. Gibson, O. Hennessy

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Background: The clinical role of the transjugular intrahepatic portal‐systemic shunt (TIPS) has not been fully defined. Aims: To determine the technical results of TIPS and the clinical outcome of patients undergoing the procedure. Methods: Retrospective audit of the results of the first 31 procedures performed in Melbourne. Results: Thirty procedures were performed for variceal haemorrhage, one procedure was for ascites. The aetiology of the liver disease was cirrhosis due to alcohol in 20, cryptogenic in five, chronic viral infection in four, and autoimmune chronic active hepatitis in one. Nodular regenerative hyperplasia was present in one patient. Seventy‐seven per cent of procedures were considered successful based on the angiographic demonstration of shunt patency at the end of the procedure. The in‐hospital mortality in all patients undergoing TIPS was 45% and was 42% in patients undergoing technically successful TIPS. Only age could be identified as predictive of death in hospital. In patients leaving hospital, we found a rebleeding rate of 57% with one patient dying of bleeding, one requiring balloon tamponade and two requiring variceal sclerotherapy. Hepatic trauma was documented in six cases, shunt thrombosis in four cases, stent displacement in two cases and severe hepatic encephalopathy in one case. Conclusions: TIPS has the potential to decompress the portal venous system, but the procedure is technically complex and should be performed in the knowledge that mortality and morbidity can be relatively high, particularly in patients whose condition is poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • gastrointestinal haemorrhage
  • oesophageal varices
  • portal hypertension
  • Portal‐systemic shunt
  • stent

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