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History of Hepatic Encephalopathy Is Not a Contraindication to Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Placement for Refractory Ascites



The outcomes of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement in patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE) are controversial. We studied the relationship of pre-TIPS HE in patients undergoing TIPS for refractory ascites on all-cause mortality and development of post-TIPS HE.


A single-center retrospective comparison study was performed for patients undergoing TIPS for refractory ascites. Survival by history of pre-TIPS HE was demonstrated with Kaplan-Meier curves. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the predictors of post-TIPS clinical outcomes for patients with and without pre-TIPS HE.


We identified 202 TIPS recipients (61% male, mean ± SD; age 59.1 ± 10.2 years; mean model for end-stage liver disease score 17.3 ± 6.9). Pre-TIPS HE did not predispose patients for increased all-cause mortality, increased risk of experiencing HE within 60 days, or increased risk of hospital admission for HE within 6 months. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that total bilirubin (odds ratio [OR] 1.03; P = 0.016) and blood urea nitrogen (OR 1.15; P = 0.002) were predictors for all-cause mortality within 6 months post-TIPS. Age ≥65 years (OR 3.92; P = 0.004), creatinine (OR 2.22; P = 0.014), and Child-Pugh score (OR 1.53; P = 0.006) were predictors for HE within 60 days post-TIPS. Predictors of intensive care admission for HE within 6 months post-TIPS included age ≥65 years (OR 8.84; P = 0.018), history of any admission for HE within 6 months pre-TIPS (OR 8.42; P = 0.017), and creatinine (OR 2.22; P = 0.015).


If controlled, pre-TIPS HE does not adversely impact patient survival or clinical outcomes, such as development of HE within 60 days of TIPS or hospital admission for HE within 6 months. Patients may be able to undergo TIPS for refractory ascites despite a history of HE.

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