Background/aims: Bleeding ectopic varices due to cirrhosis can be difficult to manage. We report our experience of uncontrolled bleeding from ectopic varices treated with transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunt (TIPS).
Methods: We selected the 21 cirrhotics who underwent TIPS for bleeding ectopic varices from our database: Child-Pugh grade A (2), B (11) and C (8). Site of bleeding was rectal (11), colonic (2), ileal 1, jejunal 1, duodenal 1, and stomal (5).
Results: TIPS was performed successfully in 19/21 (90%) patients. All except 1 had either a reduction in portosystemic pressure gradient < or = 12 mmHg (n=12) or reduction by 25-50% of baseline (n=6). TIPS alone was used in 12/19: 7 of these 12 had no further bleeding; 5 (42%) rebled within 48 h, and had embolisation, 4 without further bleeding. In 7 of 19, TIPS and embolisation were performed together: 2 patients (28%) rebled; further embolisation stopped the bleeding.
Conclusions: Ectopic varices do rebleed despite a reduction of porto-systemic pressure gradient < or = 12 mmHg or by 25-50% of baseline, following TIPS. Embolisation stopped bleeding in all but 1 patient. We recommend performing embolisation at the time of the initial TIPS to control bleeding from ectopic varices.