1 Institute of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Muenster, D-48149 Muenster, Germany.
2 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Muenster, D-48149 Muenster, Germany.
3 Department of Radiology, University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität-Campus Großhadern, D-81377 Munich, Germany.
PURPOSE: To evaluate predictive parameters for the development of Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) after Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) placement and for success of shunt modification in the management of shunt-induced HE.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all patients with TIPS (n = 344) has been performed since 2011 in our university liver center. n = 45 patients with HE after TIPS were compared to n = 48 patients without HE after TIPS (case-control-matching). Of n = 45 patients with TIPS-induced HE, n = 20 patients received a reduction stent (n = 18) or TIPS occlusion (n = 2) and were differentiated into responders (improvement by at least one HE grade according to the West Haven classification) and non-responders (no improvement).
RESULTS: Older patient age, increased serum creatinine and elevated International Normalized Ratio (INR) immediately after TIPS placement were independent predictors for the development of HE. In 11/20 patients (responders, 55%) undergoing shunt modification, the HE grade was improved compared with nine non-responders (45%), with no relevant recurrence of refractory ascites or variceal bleeding. A high HE grade after TIPS insertion was the only positive predictor of treatment response (p = 0.019). A total of 10/11 responders (91%) survived the 6 months follow-up after modification but only 6/9 non-responders (67%) survived.
DISCUSSION: Older patient age as well as an increased serum creatinine and INR after TIPS are potential predictors for the development of HE. TIPS reduction for the treatment of TIPS-induced HE is safe, with particular benefit for patients with pronounced HE.