Twelve consecutive patients admitted for bleeding from ruptured gastric varices were treated with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts and followed for a mean of 6 +/- 3 months (range: 8-293 days). The shunt was performed successfully in all 12 patients. The shunt occluded in 3 patients (respectively 19, 101 and 103 days after insertion) of whom one remained asymptomatic and two experienced rebleeding. Four patients presented with acute encephalopathy, spontaneously in two and after rebleeding in two. Three patients died, two after rebleeding and one of septic shock secondary to pneumonia. Overall, 9 patients survived a mean of 211 +/- 92 days with no rebleeding, 8 of whom have not yet experienced any complications. These results suggest that transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts could be useful in treating hemorrhages from ruptured gastric varices and in preventing their recurrence.