Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) are well-validated techniques in the management of portal hypertensive gastric variceal bleeding when medical management alone is not sufficient. However, despite their effectiveness, the adverse effects from both procedures make each technique more suitable to different cohorts of patient’s depending on presence or lack of certain comorbidities. This study aims to compare clinical outcomes of patients who have undergone both procedures for portal hypertensive gastric variceal bleeding.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted a search of electronic databases from their establishment to April 2019. The goal was to compare the efficacy of BRTO and TIPS in preventing variceal rebleeding and the risk of adverse events such as ascites and hepatic encephalopathy. Predictors of overall survival and rebleeding were also analyzed. Meta-analysis was performed with STATA 15.1.
Five randomized controlled trials and retrospective cohort studies were included in our meta-analysis. The number of patients who underwent BRTO and TIPS were 308 and 127, respectively. BRTO and TIPS have similar technical success rates (91.4% vs. 89.7%, P=0.995) and immediate bleeding control rates (97.7% vs. 95.9%, P=0.836). However, compared with TIPS, BRTO has lower likelihood of future cumulative rebleeding (10.6% vs. 18.7%, P=0.027) and hepatic encephalopathy (0.00% vs. 23.1%, P<0.001) but is more likely to aggravate ascites (22.4% vs. 4.3%, P=0.009). Serum albumin level and presence of hepatocellular carcinoma are both independent predictors of increased likelihood of rebleeding and overall survival (P<0.001).
Both BRTO and TIPS are safe and effective interventions in the management algorithm of portal hypertensive gastric variceal bleeding. Although BRTO may be more effective at the prevention of future variceal rebleeding, the choice of BRTO versus TIPS should be tailored according to patient’s comorbidities.