Purpose: To evaluate use of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) as a nonsurgical approach for the management of Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS).
Materials and methods: Twelve patients with fulminant (n = 2), subacute (n = 5), or chronic (n = 5) BCS underwent TIPS placement. Hepatic venous obstruction was demonstrated at computed tomography and color duplex sonography. BCS was confirmed histologically in all patients. Hemodynamic parameters and clinical characteristics were assessed.
Results: TIPS creation was successful in all patients. Treatment reduced the portal venous pressure gradient by 75% and resulted in a mean shunt flow of 2,300 mL/min +/- 650 (standard deviation). No serious procedure-related complications were observed. The two patients with fulminant BCS died of septicemia or progressive liver failure despite intervention. The other 10 patients showed clinical improvement with reduction or disappearance of ascites. During follow-up, shunt dysfunction occurred in five of 10 patients with recurrence of ascites requiring repeat intervention.
Conclusion: TIPS placement is safe and effective in patients with portal hypertension caused by subacute or chronic BCS.