Pretransplantation Portal Vein Recanalization and Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Creation for Chronic Portal Vein Thrombosis: Final Analysis of a 61-Patient Cohort

Bartley Thornburg, Kush Desai, Ryan Hickey, Elias Hohlastos, Laura Kulik, Daniel Ganger, Talia Baker, Michael Abecassis, Juan C. Caicedo, Daniela Ladner, Jonathan Fryer, Ahsun Riaz, Robert J. Lewandowski, Riad Salem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Purpose To report the final analysis of the safety and efficacy of portal vein (PV) recanalization (PVR) and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation (PVR-TIPS) in patients with PV thrombosis (PVT) in need of liver transplantation. Materials and Methods Sixty-one patients with cirrhosis and PVT underwent PVR-TIPS to improve transplantation candidacy. Median patient age was 58 years (range, 22–75 y), and median pre-TIPS Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score was 14 (range, 7–42). The most common etiologies of cirrhosis were nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in 18 patients (30%) and hepatitis C in 13 patients (21%). Twenty-seven patients (44%) had partial PVT, and 34 patients (56%) had complete thrombosis. Forty-nine patients (80%) had Yerdel grade 2 PVT, and 12 (20%) had Yerdel grade 3 PVT. Twenty-nine patients (48%) had cavernous transformation of the PV. Results PVR-TIPS was technically successful in 60 of 61 patients (98%). PV/TIPS patency was maintained in 55 patients (92%) at a median follow-up of 19.2 months (range, 0–105.9 mo). Recurrent PV/TIPS thrombosis occurred in 5 patients (8%), all of whom initially presented with complete PVT. The most common adverse events were TIPS stenosis in 13 patients (22%) and transient encephalopathy in 11 patients (18%). Twenty-four patients (39%) underwent transplantation, 23 of whom (96%) received an end-to-end anastomosis. There were no cases of recurrent PVT following transplantation, with a median imaging follow-up of 32.5 months (range, 0.4–75.4 mo). Five-year overall survival rate was 82%. Conclusions PVR-TIPS is a safe, effective, and durable treatment option for patients with chronic PVT who need liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1714-1721.e2
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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