TIPS for refractory ascites: A 6-year single-center experience with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene-covered stent-grafts

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This single-center study evaluated the use of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)-covered stent-grafts for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement to manage portal hypertension-related refractory ascites. MATERIALS AND METHODS. One hundred patients at a single tertiary care center in a major metropolitan hospital underwent TIPS placement with an ePTFE-covered stent-graft (Viatorr TIPS Endoprosthesis). Patients with portal hypertension-related ascites and preexisting hepatocellular carcinoma or liver transplant were excluded from the analysis. Records were reviewed for demographic characteristics, technical success of the TIPS procedures, and stent follow-up findings. Clinical results were assessed at 90-and 180-day intervals. RESULTS. Immediate technical success of the TIPS procedure was 100%. Of the 61 patients with documented follow-up, 55 (90.2%) had a partial or complete ascites response to TIPS creation. Of these 55 patients, nine experienced severe encephalopathy. Six of 61 patients (9.8%) did not experience a significant ascites response. Overall survival was 78.7% at 365-day follow-up. The 365-day survival was 84.2% for patients with a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score of less than 15, 67.0% for those with a score of 15-18, and 53.8% for those with a score of greater than 18 (p = 0.01). For patients with a MELD score of less than 18, the 365-day survival was 88.0% for those with an albumin value of 3 mg/dL or greater and 72.8% for those with an albumin value of less than 3 mg/dL (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION. TIPS placement using an ePTFE-covered stent-graft is an efficacious therapy for refractory ascites. Patients with preserved liver function-characterized by a MELD score of less than 15 or a MELD score of less than 18 and an albumin value of 3 mg/dL or greater-experience the greatest survival benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-661
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Volume204
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Cirrhosis
  • Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)-covered stent
  • Portal hypertension
  • Refractory ascites
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)

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