Background/aims: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a new therapy for variceal bleeding. Immediate technical and short-term clinical results have been reported. This study was undertaken to evaluate mid-term outcome after TIPS in patients who successfully underwent the procedure for variceal bleeding.
Methods: Ninety patients were followed up prospectively by clinical examination and radiological shunt evaluation including Doppler sonography and transjugular portal venography.
Results: The average follow-up in surviving patients was 2.2 years. The cumulative survival rate was 60% at 1 year and 51% at 2 years. The rate of cumulative rebleeding was 26% at 1 year and 32% at 2 years. A shunt abnormality was noted in all rebleeding patients. Rebleeding was successfully controlled in all but 1 of the patients who underwent shunt revision. Cumulative detection of stenosis or occlusion was 31% at 1 year and 47% at 2 years. Thirty-eight percent of shunt abnormalities were detected by routine surveillance. Percutaneous shunt revision was attempted in 22 patients and was successful in 21 (95%).
Conclusions: Although mid-term primary patency is limited in many patients by the development of a shunt stenosis or occlusion, shunt function can be maintained in most patients by careful surveillance and periodic percutaneous intervention.