Application of the model for end-stage liver disease score for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt in cirrhotic patients with refractory ascites and renal impairment

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Jun;16(6):607-12. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200406000-00015.


Background and aims: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) can manage severe complications of portal hypertension. The Mayo Clinic group proposed a so-called model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) to predict survival in cirrhotic patients. High creatinine levels determine a decrease in calculated survival chances with MELD but functional renal disease can be reversed by TIPS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of MELD in predicting survival after TIPS, particularly in patients with refractory ascites associated with functional renal failure.

Methods: This retrospective analysis examines 68 cirrhotic patients who underwent elective TIPS: 48 patients had refractory ascites and 20 patients had recurrent variceal bleeding. Multivariate analysis was used to establish predictive parameters of survival after TIPS. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were used to compare survival rates observed in our patients with those evaluated with the MELD score.

Results: The age of patients was the only variable shown to have an independent value in predicting survival after TIPS. In patients undergoing shunting for refractory ascites, the survival rates at 6, 12 and 24 months after the procedure were significantly higher than expected with the MELD score.

Conclusions: The MELD scale may underestimate the efficacy of TIPS in end-stage cirrhotic patients with refractory ascites and functional kidney dysfunction. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding and ultimately to assess a correction factor to better predict survival after TIPS in patients with functional renal impairment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic*
  • Prognosis
  • Renal Insufficiency / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome