Objectives: The implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) has been shown to exacerbate the hyperdynamic circulation and might induce a significant cardiac overload. We investigated cardiac function before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the TIPS procedure in cirrhotic patients.
Methods: Eleven patients with nonalcoholic cirrhosis were evaluated. Cardiovascular parameters were assessed by two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography.
Results: After TIPS, the left ventricular diastolic diameter increased from 26.5 +/- 1.8 mm (basal) to 30.0 +/- 2.8 mm (6 months) (p < 0.05), whereas the ejection fraction showed a slight increase (basal, 64.5 +/- 3.3; 6 months, 68.1 +/- 3.2). The left ventricular pre-ejection period and the isovolumetric relaxation time decreased transiently at 1 month (p < 0.05). An increased velocity in all of the components of pulmonary venous flow (systolic, diastolic, and atrial) documented the accelerated fluxes induced by the procedure. The estimated pulmonary systolic arterial pressure also increased at 1 month (29.5 +/- 1.4 vs 44.1 +/- 1.4 mm Hg, p < 0.05). All of these modifications reverted after 6 months.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that nonalcoholic cirrhotic patients, without cardiovascular pathologies, show transient modifications in cardiac dimension and function for 3-6 months after TIPS caused by the increased volume load shunted to the heart.