Bacteremia and "Endotipsitis" following transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting

World J Hepatol. 2011 May 27;3(5):130-6. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.130.


Aim: To identify all cases of bacteremia and suspected endotipsitis after Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS) at our institution and to determine risk factors for their occurrence.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records of all patients who underwent TIPS in our institution between 1996 and 2009. Data included: indications for TIPS, underlying liver disease, demographics, positive blood cultures after TIPS, microbiological characteristics, treatment and outcome.

Results: 49 men and 47 women were included with a mean age of 55.8 years (range 15-84). Indications for TIPS included variceal bleeding, refractory ascites, hydrothorax and hepatorenal syndrome. Positive blood cultures after TIPS were found in 39/96 (40%) patients at various time intervals following the procedure. Seven patients had persistent bacteremia fitting the definition of endotipsitis. Staphylococcus species grew in 66% of the positive cultures, Candida and enterococci species in 15% each of the isolates, and 3% cultures grew other species. Multi-variate regression analysis identified 4 variables: hypothyroidism, HCV, prophylactic use of antibiotics and the procedure duration as independent risk factors for positive blood cultures following TIPS (P < 0.0006, 0.005, 0.001, 0.0003, respectively). Prophylactic use of antibiotics before the procedure was associated with a decreased risk for bacteremia, preventing mainly early infections, occurring within 120 d of the procedure.

Conclusion: Bacteremia is common following TIPS. Risk factors associated with bacteremia include failure to use prophylactic antibiotics, hypothyroidism, HCV and a long procedure. Our results strongly support the use of prophylaxis as a means to decrease early post TIPS infections.

Keywords: Ascites; Bacteremia; Bleeding; Liver Insufficiency; Tips.