Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts in liver transplant recipients: Technical analysis and clinical outcome

Wael E.A. Saad, Wael M. Darwish, Mark Davies, Sean Kumer, Curtis Anderson, David L. Waldman, Timothy Schmitt, Alan H. Matsumoto, John F. Angle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to compare the technical success of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in transplanted versus nontransplanted livers and to assess the clinical outcome of TIPS in liver transplant recipients. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A retrospective audit of patients receiving a TIPS was performed in two institutions during 1996-2009. The technical success of the TIPS was compared for transplanted versus nontransplanted livers. Clinical success was defined as graft survival longer than 1 month with improvement in symptoms. The cohort was divided into grafts that survived less than 3 months versus 3 months or more. The model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores and portosystemic gradients before and after TIPS creation were evaluated for predictive value for graft survival. The TIPS stent type, MELD scores and portosystemic gradients before and after TIPS creation, and causes of liver disease were evaluated for their predictive value for ascites response after TIPS creation. RESULTS. Thirty-nine TIPS in transplanted livers were found, representing 5.5% (39/715) of all TIPS procedures performed and 2.0% (39/1992) of all liver transplant recipients. Ninety percent of TIPS in transplanted livers had ascites. The median time from transplant to creation of the TIPS was 29 months (2-127 months). The median MELD score was 16 before and 22 after the TIPS procedure. The technical success rates for TIPS were 97% (38/39) in transplanted livers versus 97% (657/676) in nontransplanted livers ( p = 1.00). Intent-to-treat clinical success rates were 36% for all indications versus 31% for ascites only. There were no predictors for ascites response. Six-, 12-, and 24-month graft survival rates were 43%, 32%, and 22%, respectively. One-year graft survival for a MELD score less than 17 versus a score of 17 or higher was 54% versus 8%, respectively ( p < 0.05). CONCLUSION. Transplantation does not pose a technical challenge to TIPS creation. One third of patients have a favorable outcome. MELD score is the only predictor of graft survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-218
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Liver
  • Outcomes
  • Technical
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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