Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation with the Viatorr expanded polytetrafluoroethylene-covered stent-graft

Klaus A Hausegger, Franz Karnel, Buriana Georgieva, Josef Tauss, Horst Portugaller, Hannes Deutschmann, Andrea Berghold
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: JVIR 2004, 15 (3): 239-48

PURPOSE: To evaluate the midterm clinical results and patency of transjugular portosystemic shunts (TIPS) created with a commercially available expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)-covered stent-graft based on angiographic and ultrasonographic (US) criteria in a series of 71 patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-one patients (61 men, 10 women; mean age, 58.6 years, range, 25-78 years) were included in this series, which was performed in two centers. Indications for TIPS creation were refractory ascites (n = 44) and recurrent esophageal bleeding (n = 27). Ten patients had Child-Pugh class A liver cirrhosis, 43 had class B disease, and 18 had class C disease. Underlying liver diseases were alcoholic cirrhosis (n = 58), cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis (n = 9), cryptogenic cirrhosis (n = 3), and Budd-Chiari syndrome (n = 1). TIPS were created with commercially available ePTFE-covered stent-grafts in all patients. The diameters of the stent-grafts were 10 mm in 58 patients and 8 mm in the remaining 13 patients. Follow-up included clinical examination and color-coded US after 5 days, 1, 3, and 6 months, and every 6 months thereafter. Shunt angiograms were obtained every 6 months. Median follow-up was 16.3 months (range, 3.8-26.6 months).

RESULTS: TIPS creation was successful in all patients without complications, and effective portal decompression was observed with a reduction of the mean portal gradient from 19 mm Hg to 6 mm Hg before and after TIPS creation. Four shunt occlusions were observed after 5 days, 2 months, 3 months, and 6 months. Shunt stenosis was observed in three patients at the hepatic vein, which was not fully covered by the stent-graft, after 6 months (n = 2) and 12 months, and at the portal side after 1 month in a patient who initially had portal vein thrombosis. The repeat intervention rate was 11.3%. The primary patency rates were 87.4% (95% CI, 77.7%-97.1%) after 6 months and 80.8% (95% CI, 68.2%-93.4%) after 12 months. The rate of de novo or deteriorated hepatic encephalopathy was 31%. The recurrent bleeding rate was 3.7% (one of 27), and ascites improved or resolved in 64% of patients after 1 month.

CONCLUSION: TIPS patency can be significantly increased if the ePTFE-covered stent-graft is used for shunt creation. The increased shunt patency contributes to low repeat intervention and recurrent bleeding rates. The rate of hepatic encephalopathy is within the range of previously reported rates.

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