Successful reversal of hepatic encephalopathy with intentional occlusion of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 1995 Nov-Dec;6(6):917-21. doi: 10.1016/s1051-0443(95)71212-x.


Purpose: To establish a safe and effective method for occluding a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in patients who develop uncontrollable, disabling encephalopathy.

Patients and methods: The study population consisted of five patients who developed refractory encephalopathy following TIPS. The indication for TIPS was bleeding in four patients and ascites in one. Wallstents that were 10 mm in diameter and 68 mm long were used to bridge the hepatic parenchyma in all patients. The onset of encephalopathy from the time of the TIPS procedure ranged from 24 hours to 210 days. Because encephalopathy was not responsive to conventional medical management, shunt thrombosis was induced by means of temporary inflation of an 11.5-mm-diameter latex occlusion balloon within the midportion of the stent.

Results: All shunts were successfully thrombosed when the balloon was inflated for 12 hours or more. Encephalopathy resolved in four patients and improved in the remaining patient. One patient experienced recurrent bleeding within 24 hours of the TIPS occlusion that was controlled medically.

Conclusion: Temporary occlusion of a TIPS with latex balloons successfully induces shunt thrombosis and improves encephalopathy. However, the patient is again exposed to risks related to complications of portal hypertension.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascites / surgery
  • Catheterization* / instrumentation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / etiology
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / surgery
  • Latex
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Surgical / instrumentation
  • Recurrence
  • Safety
  • Stents
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Latex