Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Creation Using a Radiofrequency Wire: Prospective Clinical Safety and Feasibility Trial in Cirrhosis

Khashayar Farsad, Evan Narasimhan, Lori Russell, John A. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the safety and feasibility of using a radiofrequency (RF) wire for portosystemic shunt creation. Materials and Methods: Ten patients undergoing elective creation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) or a direct intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (DIPS) were prospectively enrolled. Primary outcomes were the safety and feasibility of RF wire used for the creation of TIPS and DIPS. Median age was 66.5 ± 6.1 years. Causes of liver disease included alcohol (n = 5), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (n = 2), hepatitis C virus (n = 1), primary biliary cirrhosis (n = 1), autoimmune hepatitis (n = 1). The median score for model for end-stage liver disease was 11 ± 4.3. The Rosch-Uchida TIPS set was used with intravascular ultrasonography guidance in all cases. A 0.035-inch RF wire was used in lieu of the trocar needle through the 5-F TIPS set catheter to create a track between the hepatic vein and the portal vein. All shunts were created using stent grafts. Results: Technical success rate was 100%. In 7 of 10 patients, portal vein access was achieved with a single pass. A DIPS was created in 2 patients based on anatomic favorability. Median fluoroscopy time was 13.3 ± 3.8 min, and median total procedure time was 102 ± 19 min. The wire passed through parenchyma without subjective deflection. There was 1 case of extracapsular puncture with no clinical consequence. The RF wire was too stiff to curve into the main portal vein, requiring wire exchange in all but 1 case. Mean portosystemic gradient decreased from 13.9 ± 3.3 to 5.9 ± 2.1 mm Hg. No immediate complications were encountered. Shunt patency was 100% at 30 days. Conclusions: Creation of TIPS and DIPS using an RF wire was safe and feasible, enabling creation of an intrahepatic track without subjective deflection in cirrhotic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1407
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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