Procedural and shunt-related complications and mortality of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPSS)

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Nov;44(10):1051-1061. doi: 10.1111/apt.13809. Epub 2016 Sep 27.


Background: The implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPSS) is a complex angiographic procedure performed in patients with end-stage liver disease. Numerous case reports and narrative reviews have been published so far; however, studies systematically investigating procedural and shunt-related complications are lacking.

Aim: To systematically investigate complications and mortality occurring during the index hospital stay and the early (4-week) period after TIPSS implantation.

Methods: The study includes 389 patients who received a TIPSS implantation between 2004 and 2014. Data were obtained from the clinical records and technical reports of the TIPSS implantation.

Results: During the index hospital stay, procedure-related complications occurred in 42 patients (10.8%) with intraperitoneal bleeding in 8 patients (2.1%) and infections in 14 patients (3.6%). Shunt- and disease-related complications consisted of hepatic encephalopathy (1-year incidence 29%), non-procedural infections (8.7%) and acute hepatic decompensation (4.1%). Nine patients (2.3%) died during the index hospital stay from procedure-related (two patients, 0.5%), shunt-related (four patients, 1%) or disease-related causes (three patients, 0.8%). 23 patients (5.9%) died during 4 weeks after TIPSS implantation. The 1-year probability of survival was 67.7% and was negatively associated with severe hepatic encephalopathy and acute hepatic decompensation.

Conclusions: Except hepatic encephalopathy, severe procedure- and shunt-related complications are rare and early mortality is low.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic / adverse effects*
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Transjugular Intrahepatic / methods
  • Treatment Outcome