Intravascular ultrasound-guided direct intrahepatic portacaval shunt: Midterm follow-up

Bryan Petersen, Christoph Binkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe the midterm patency and clinical results of the intravascular ultrasound (US)-guided direct intrahepatic portacaval shunt (DIPS) procedure for the treatment of intractable ascites and variceal bleeding. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From February 23, 1999, to December 18, 2002, inferior vena cava (IVC)-to-portal vein (PV) shunts were created in 40 patients for ascites (n = 35) and bleeding (n = 5). Intravascular US was used to guide direct puncture from the IVC to the PV. The shunts were completed with the use of single (n = 15) or overlapping (n = 25) polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-covered Palmaz stents. These stent-grafts were deployed primarily at diameters of 8 mm. The diameter of the shunt was increased in three cases to achieve a target portosystemic gradient (PSG) of 15 mm Hg or lower. All patients were followed clinically and with portography with manometry. RESULTS: All DIPSs were created successfully. Mean PSGs were reduced from 23 mm Hg before DIPS creation to 9 mm afterward. During the follow-up period of a maximum of 38 months, 22 of 40 patients died or underwent liver transplantation (mean follow-up, 9 months; median, 6 months). At the time of this report, 18 of 40 patients remain living after follow-up ranging in duration from 8 to 38 months (mean, 22 months; median, 16.5 months). During the follow-up period, there was one stent-graft occlusion and three stenoses. These four patients were successfully treated by additional stent-graft placement. In addition, two patients developed IVC stenosis cephalad to the DIPS, which required IVC stent placement. The primary patency rates by Kaplan-Meier analysis were 100% at 6 months and 75% (95% CI, 53%-97%) at 12 months. CONCLUSION: Intravascular US-guided direct IVC-to-PV shunts may be created successfully with minimal complications. Primary patency of the shunt is greater than that with conventional TIPS with a bare wire stent and appears equal to that with TIPS with a PTFE-covered stent-graft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-938
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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