Portal Vein Recanalization and Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Creation for Chronic Portal Vein Thrombosis: Technical Considerations

Bartley Thornburg, Kush Desai, Ryan Hickey, Laura Kulik, Daniel Ganger, Talia Baker, Michael Abecassis, Robert J. Lewandowski, Riad Salem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is common in cirrhotic patients and presents a challenge at the time of transplant. Owing to the increased posttransplant morbidity and mortality associated with complete PVT, the presence of PVT is a relative contraindication to liver transplantation at many centers. Our group began performing portal vein (PV) recanalization and transjugular intrahepatic portostystemic shunt placement (PVR-TIPS) several years ago to optimize the transplant candidacy of patients with PVT. The procedure has evolved to include transsplenic access to assist with recanalization, which is now our preferred method due to its technical success without significant added morbidity. Here, we describe in detail our approach to PVR-TIPS with a focus on the transsplenic method. The procedure was attempted in 61 patients and was technically successful in 60 patients (98%). After transitioning to transsplenic access to assist with recanalization, the technical success rate has improved to 100%. The recanalized portal vein and TIPS have maintained patency during follow-up, or to the time of transplant, in 55 patients (92%) with a mean follow-up of 16.7 months. In total, 23 patients (38%) have undergone transplant, all of whom received a physiologic anastomosis (end-to-end anastomosis in 22 of 23 patients, 96%). PVR-TIPS placement should be considered as an option for patients with chronic PVT in need of transplantation. Transsplenic access makes the procedure technically straightforward and should be considered as the primary method for recanalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalTechniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Liver transplantation
  • Portal vein thrombosis
  • TIPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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