The History and Evolution of Balloon-occluded Retrograde Transvenous Obliteration (BRTO): From the United States to Japan and Back

Semin Intervent Radiol. 2011 Sep;28(3):283-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1284454.


The concept of obliterating varices that complicate portal hypertension dates back to the 1970s, but its minimally invasive clinical utilization was probably lost with the advent of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). The conception of retrograde obliteration of a gastrorenal shunt via the left renal vein was reported by Olson et al from the University of Indiana. However, the definition, development, technical perfection, and clinical implementation of the balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) occurred in Japan (by Kanagawa et al and others). The BRTO-procedure is currently undergoing a renaissance in the United States particularly for patients who are not TIPS candidates.

Keywords: BRTO; History; TIPS; transvenous obliteration; varices.