Background and Aims: The effects of trans jugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) on portal hemodynamics, esophageal and gastric varices, and hepatic function have not been fully defined. The aim of this study was to define prospectively the effects of TIPS on portal pressures and flow, variceal resolution, and hepatic function. Methods: Pressure and flow measurements were made by angiography and Doppler sonography, respectively. Varices were assessed by endoscopy and angiography. Liver functions were evaluated by a battery of tests. Results: In 100 consecutive subjects, mean portosystemic gradient decreased from 24 to 11 mm Hg (means) (P < 0.001) after TIPS. Recurrent portal hypertension caused by stent thrombosis (n = 5), stent retraction (n = 2), and stent stenosis (n = 51) occurred at 6 months but, by year 5, was not present in survivors (n = 0 of 8). Fundic gastric varices failed to resolve in 6 of 12 cases. Systemic venous pressures of >15 mm Hg, stent dysfunction, and continued alcoholism were risk factors for recurrent hemorrhage. Angiography was superior to endoscopy, which was superior to Doppler sonography for detection of recurrent portal hypertension. Progressive liver failure occurred in 8 patients. Conclusions: Recurrent portal hypertension caused by stent stenosis occurs commonly in the first 2 years after TIPS. Fundic gastric varices often fail to disappear after TIPS. The effects of TIPS on liver function are unpredictable.
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