Many researchers consider portal thrombosis (PT) as a contraindication to transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the feasibility and long-term prognosis of TIPS in cirrhotic patients, with and without, complete PT.
Patients and methods
Four hundred and thirty-six consecutive cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension were referred for TIPS, between 1990 and 2004. These patients were divided into two groups according to their portal patency. PT+: 34 patients with complete PT with cavernoma (19) or without (15) cavernoma versus PT−: 402 patients with normal portal patency (308) and partial PT (94). Epidemiological data were compared using the χ2 and Student's t-tests, and comparative evolution was made from actuarial data using the log-rank test.
PT+ patients were more frequently women with viral hepatitis, and TIPS was performed more often for bleeding indications. The TIPS success rate was significantly lower in the PT+ group (79%) than in the PT− group (99.5%) (P<10−4). Presence of a cavernoma decreased the success rate to 63%. TIPS was always feasible in cases of recent PT and portal cavernoma with an accessible intrahepatic patent portal branch. Early and late outcome and complications were not significantly different between the two groups.
Complete PT does not modify TIPS' long-term outcome. Rather than a contraindication, PT should be considered as an indication for TIPS in cirrhotic patients with accessible intrahepatic portal vein. Further randomized studies should be planned in cirrhotic patients with recent PT to better qualify TIPS and anticoagulation indications, respectively.