Digestive diseases and sciences

Long-term follow-up of TIPS created with expanded poly-tetrafluoroethylene covered stents.

PMID 23381105


Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) created with expanded poly-tetrafluoroethylene-covered stents have largely replaced bare metal stents. Short-term shunt patency is typically assessed with protocol Doppler ultrasound (US), while little information exists with regard to long-term patency. We investigated the value of Doppler US in assessing TIPS patency as well as long-term clinical outcomes. A retrospective analysis of 59 patients with covered stents used for TIPS between January 2001 and December 2011 was performed. Fifty-four patients had early (median 9 days) Doppler US follow-up. Seven of eight patients with an abnormal baseline US required stent revisions. None of the 46 patients with normal baseline Doppler US required revisions within the first 6 months; six of these patients subsequently had a portogram because of symptoms, but all TIPS were patent. Fifty-two patients survived for long-term (>6 months) follow-up, averaging 654 days and three Doppler US exams. Five of six patients with abnormal follow-up Doppler US required revisions, whereas none of the 46 patients with normal follow-up US had revisions. The recurrence of symptoms of portal hypertension and/or hepatic encephalopathy (HE) was low (4/52 patients). No significant predictors of long-term stenosis were identified. Post-TIPS HE was independent of pre-TIPS HE or Child-Pugh score. Short-term patency and that at approximately 2 years after TIPS placement was 87 and 77 %, respectively. We conclude that Doppler US at least 1 week after TIPS is warranted, but repeated Doppler US follow-up is probably not necessary in the absence of clinical symptoms.

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Polytetrafluoroethylene preparation, 60 wt % dispersion in H2O