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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Migration to the Heart Diagnosed by Emergency Department Ultrasound

  • Author(s): Wendler, Carlan
  • Shoenberger, Jan Marie
  • Mailhot, Thomas
  • Perera, Phillips
  • et al.

A 57-year-old man presented to our emergency department with altered mental status. He had a past medical history significant for cirrhosis and previous placement of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). On cardiac auscultation, a new heart murmur and an unexpected degree of cardiac ectopy were noted. On the 12-lead electrocardiogram, the patient was noted to have multiple premature atrial contractions, corroborating the irregular heart rhythm on physicalexam. A focused bedside emergency ultrasound of the heart was then performed. This exam revealed an apparent foreign body in the right atrium. It appeared as if the patient’s TIPS had migrated from the heart into the right atrium. This case, as well as the literature describing thisunusual complication of TIPS placement, is reviewed in this case report. [West J Emerg Med. 2012;13(6):525-526]

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