A comparison of treatment with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt or distal splenorenal shunt in the management of variceal bleeding prior to liver transplantation.Transplantation. 1995 Jan 27; 59(2):226-9.T
Recurrent variceal bleeding in liver transplant candidates with end-stage liver disease can complicate or even prohibit a subsequent transplant procedure (OLT). Endoscopic sclerotherapy and medical therapy are considered as first-line management with surgical shunts reserved for refractory situations. Surgical shunts can be associated with a high mortality in this population and may complicate subsequent OLT. The transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) has been recommended in these patients as a bridge to OLT. This is a new modality that has not been compared with previously established therapies such as the distal splenorenal shunt (DSRS). In this study we report our experience with 35 liver transplant recipients who had a previous TIPS (18 patients) or DSRS (17 patients) for variceal bleeding. The TIPS group had a significantly larger proportion of critically ill and Child-Pugh C patients. Mean operating time was more prolonged in the DSRS group (P = 0.014) but transfusion requirements were similar. Intraoperative portal vein blood flow measurements averaged 2132 +/- 725 ml/min in the TIPS group compared with 1120 +/- 351 ml/min in the DSRS group (P < 0.001). Arterial flows were similar. Mean ICU and hospital stays were similar. There were 3 hospital mortalities in the DSRS group and none in the TIPS group (P = 0.1). We conclude that TIPS is a valuable tool in the management of recurrent variceal bleeding prior to liver transplantation. Intraoperative hemodynamic measurements suggest a theoretical advantage with TIPS. In a group of patients with advanced liver disease we report an outcome that is similar to patients treated with DSRS prior to liver transplantation. The role of TIPS in the treatment of nontransplant candidates remains to be clarified.