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Hepatic encephalopathy after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt insertion: A decade of experience

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steven MassonORCiD, Dr John Rose, Dr Christopher Record


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Background: Since its introduction, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) has been extensively used for treatment of portal hypertension. We report a decade of experience with particular emphasis on characterizing post-TIPS hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Aim: To determine the frequency of clinically evident or minimal HE post-TIPS, identify predisposing factors and determine the impact of minimal HE on quality of life. Design: Prospective data collection and retrospective case notes analysis. Methods: Of 197 patients referred for TIPS insertion, 136 patients who survived the procedure by more than 4 weeks were available for assessment. Data collected at TIPS insertion was supplemented by case note analysis. Psychometric testing was performed and health profile questionnaires administered on patients still attending. Results: Most patients had alcoholic liver disease (62.4%) and bleeding varices unresponsive to endoscopic therapy (86%). Clinically evident post-TIPS HE developed in 34.5% of patients, was of similar frequency in the groups treated with polytetrafluoroethylene covered and uncovered stents, and the only significant predictor was pre-TIPS HE. Post-TIPS HE necessitating liver transplant or contributing to death occurred in only 14 (10.3%) patients. Minimal encephalopathy (abnormal psychometry) was present in 49% of patients at 26 (3-123) months after TIPS but this frequency was similar in a cohort of cirrhotics being assessed for liver transplant. However, patients with abnormal psychometry had significantly lower quality of life scores than those with normal psychometry. Conclusions: Although, HE is relatively common after TIPS insertion, with careful selection of patients it is usually short-lived and easily managed. Minimal HE is no more prevalent than expected in a cirrhotic population without TIPS. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Physicians. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Masson S, Mardini HA, Rose JD, Record CO

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: QJM

Year: 2008

Volume: 101

Issue: 6

Pages: 493-501

ISSN (print): 1460-2725

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2393

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcn037

PubMed id: 18440957


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