Urgent transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt for control of acute variceal bleeding.Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Jan; 93(1):75-9.AJ
Endoscopic sclerotherapy and pharmacological therapy are widely used in the treatment of acute variceal hemorrhage. However, they fail at arresting acute bleeding in 20-30% of bleeding episodes. The efficacy of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in the prevention of recurrent variceal bleeding has been proved recently, but the effectiveness and safety of urgent TIPS in the treatment of acute variceal bleeding refractory to conventional therapy are still under evaluation.
Over 4.5 yr, 358 variceal hemorrhage episodes were treated in our hospital. Pharmacological and endoscopic therapy failed to control hemorrhage in 93 episodes. Thirty-two patients died because of uncontrolled massive bleeding. In 56 patients, TIPS (Strecker stent) was performed after temporary control of the episode with balloon tamponade.
Eleven of 56 patients with urgent TIPS belonged to Child-Pugh class A, 22 to class B, and 23 to class C. The mean time between indication and insertion was 17 +/- 10 h (range 4-24 h). Control of bleeding was achieved in 53 patients (95 %). Eight patients had recurrent bleeding at 1 month after TIPS, seven of them during the first week after the procedure. The 1-month actuarial probability of rebleeding was 22%. The main complications of the procedure were massive hemoperitoneum (n = 1), cardiorespiratory arrest (n = 2), cardiac failure (n = 1), acute renal failure (n = 2), and bacteremia (n = 7). Operative mortality (30 days) was 28%. The actuarial probability of survival at 30 days was significantly lower in Child-Pugh class C than in class A or B (48% vs 90%; p < 0.001). The presence of ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, and serum albumin level before TIPS were independent prognostic factors associated with the risk of operative mortality.
Urgent TIPS is an effective alternative for the treatment of acute variceal bleeding refractory to endoscopic and pharmacological therapy, but sometimes is associated with major complications. Because of the high operative mortality rate in patients with severe liver failure, careful selection of patients is required before TIPS.