Improvement of hepatorenal syndrome by transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt

Am J Gastroenterol. 1995 Jul;90(7):1169-71.


Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a functional renal failure occurring in advanced liver cirrhosis with ascites. It is due to renal cortical vasoconstriction resulting from complex hemodynamic disturbances related to cirrhosis and portal hypertension. There is no consistently effective therapy except for liver transplantation. We report a case of severe HRS in a patient with advanced liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Three sessions of hemodialysis were performed because of severe renal failure (serum urea 83 mg/dl, serum creatinine 6 mg/dl). Creation of an intrahepatic portosystemic shunt reduced the portocaval gradient from 18 to 7 mm Hg. Spectacular improvement of the renal function was observed soon after the procedure, with spontaneous recovery of diuresis and a return of serum urea and creatinine to baseline values. The patient unfortunately died 2 months later from adult respiratory distress syndrome post emergency surgery for a massive bleed related to a duodenal ulcer. Throughout this episode, the renal function remained stable. The postmortem examination showed histologically normal kidneys. We conclude that the intrahepatic portosystemic shunt can improve renal function in cirrhotic patients with HRS; it could be used in patients awaiting liver transplantation to reverse preoperative renal failure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Surgical / methods*