Background: Patients with cirrhosis often develop portal hypertension-associated splenomegaly and hypersplenism, potentially causing severe cytopenia.
Aims: Systematic assessment on the impact of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) implantation on platelet count (PLT), hemoglobin (Hb), and white blood cell count (WBC).
Methods: Patients with cirrhosis undergoing covered TIPS implantation were retrospectively included. Patients with malignancies or hematologic disorders were excluded. Hematology lab work was recorded at baseline (pre-TIPS) and at regular intervals after TIPS.
Results: One hundred ninety-two patients (male: 72.4%, age: 56 ± 10 years; MELD: 12.1 ± 3.6) underwent TIPS implantation. Higher-grade (≥ G2) thrombocytopenia (PLT < 100 G/L) was present in 54 (28.7%), ≥ G2 anemia (Hb < 10 g/dL) in 57 (29.7%), and ≥ G2 leukopenia (WBC < 2 G/L) in 3 (1.6%) patients pre-TIPS, respectively. Resolution of ≥ G2 thrombocytopenia, anemia, and leukopenia occurred in 24/55 (43.6%), 23/57 (40.4%), and 2/3 (66.7%), respectively. Similar results were also observed in the subgroup of patients without 'bleeding' TIPS-indication, with improvements of G ≥ 2 thrombocytopenia and of G ≥ 2 anemia in 19.8% and 10.2% of patients after TIPS, respectively.
Conclusions: Thrombocytopenia, anemia, and leukopenia frequently improved after TIPS. Therefore, moderate- to higher-grade thrombocytopenia should not be regarded as a contraindication against TIPS, but rather be considered in case of severe thrombocytopenia-particularly prior to surgery or interventions.
Keywords: Anemia; Cirrhosis; Hypersplenism; Portal hypertension; TIPS; Thrombocytopenia.
© 2022. The Author(s).