Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement, a prospective multicenter trial was undertaken.
Materials and methods: In eight institutions, 96 patients underwent TIPS placement after failed sclero-therapy (Child-Pugh class A [n = 24], class B [n = 38], and class C [n = 34]), with follow-up for 6 months (with ultrasonography and angiography and clinical and laboratory studies).
Results: TIPS placement was successful in all patients (mean initial portosystemic pressure gradient, 22.8 mm Hg + 6.7 [standard deviation]; mean decrease after placement, 12.8 mm Hg + 5.2), with variceal embolization in 25 patients. Complications included liver capsule puncture (n = 12), hepatic artery puncture (n = 3), main portal vein puncture (n = 1), and increased encephalopathy (n = 28). The 30-day mortality rate was 0% for patients with Child class A disease, 18% for class B, and 40% for class C. At 6 months, primary patency was 88% and assisted patency was 94%.
Conclusion: The risk associated with TIPS placement is reasonable, and it is an effective procedure for the treatment of portal hypertension.