Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt patency and the importance of stenosis location in the development of recurrent symptoms

Richard R. Saxon, Penny L. Ross, Janet Mendel-Hartvig, Robert E. Barton, Kent Benner, Ken Flora, Bryan D. Petersen, Paul C. Lakin, Frederick S. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To analyze in detail the location and types of stenosis and occlusion that occur after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation and to determine the relative contribution of these various types of TIPS malfunction to recurrent symptoms of variceal bleeding or ascites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 116 of 217 patients who underwent TIPS creation between June 1990 and July 1995, follow-up portal venography was performed at 6-month intervals and for symptoms of recurrent variceal bleeding or ascites. RESULTS: Cumulative primary venographic patency by means of Kaplan-Meler survival analysis was 55% at 6 months and 5% at 2 years. Secondary patency was 92% at 2 years. Stenosis or occlusion occurred in 63 of 116 patients (54%). In 20 patients (17%), acute shunt occlusions developed less than 30 days after TIPS creation; in 24 patients (21%), tract abnormalities were detected after 30 days; and in 19 patients (16%), hepatic vein stenoses were detected after 30 days. Abnormalities of the parenchymal tract were more often correlated with recurrent variceal bleeding or ascites than were hepatic vein stenoses (odds ratio, 3.6; P = .02). Ten of 14 patients (71%) with detected biliary fistulas to their TIPS had symptoms, and all patients with biliary fistulas had tract abnormalities. CONCLUSION: Tract stenoses and occlusions were the major cause of symptomatic shunt failure after TIPS creation. Substantial bile duct transections are often associated with tract abnormalities and recurrent symptoms. Although common, hepatic vein stenoses were rarely associated with recurrent symptoms in our patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-693
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Liver, interventional procedure, 761.126
  • Portal veins, stenosis or obstruction, 957.442, 957.443
  • Shunts, portosystemic, 957.453
  • Stents and prostheses, 761.126

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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