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BACKGROUND—Recent small studies on hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) indicate some clinical benefit after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent-shunt (TIPS) but sufficient long term data are lacking.
AIM—We studied prospectively feasibility, safety, and long term survival after TIPS in 41 non-transplantable cirrhotics with HRS (phase II study).
PATIENTS AND METHODS—HRS was diagnosed using current criteria (severe (type I) HRS, n=21; moderate (type II) HRS, n=20). Thirty one patients (14 type I, 17 type II) received TIPS (8-10 mm) while advanced liver failure excluded shunting in 10. During follow up (median 24 months) we analysed renal function and survival (Kaplan-Meier).
RESULTS—TIPS markedly reduced the portal pressure gradient (21 (5) to 13 (4) mm Hg (mean (SD)); p<0.001) with one procedure related death (3.2%). Renal function deteriorated without TIPS but improved (p<0.001) within two weeks after TIPS (creatinine clearance 18 (15) to 48 (42) ml/min; sodium excretion 9 (16) to 77 (78) mmol/24 hours) and stabilised thereafter. Following TIPS, three, six, 12, and 18 month survival rates were 81%, 71%, 48%, and 35%, respectively. As only 10% of non-shunted patients survived three months, total survival rates were 63%, 56%, 39%, and 29%, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed bilirubin (p<0.001) and HRS type (p<0.05) as independent survival predictors after TIPS.
CONCLUSIONS—TIPS provides long term renal function and probably survival benefits in the majority of non-transplantable cirrhotics with HRS. These data warrant controlled trials evaluating TIPS in the management of HRS.
Keywords: hepatorenal syndrome; transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent-shunt; liver cirrhosis; portal hypertension; ascites; renal failure