For patients who present with variceal bleeding refractory to endoscopic and pharmacologic methods, TIPS is a new and effective therapy. Stents are used in selected patients with decompensated liver disease and those who anticipate liver transplantation within 6 to 12 months. Surveillance of TIPS with ultrasound, with or without venography, is recommended to diagnose and treat stenosis or occlusion before variceal hemorrhage recurs. Hepatic encephalopathy may develop in a subset of patients, but it is usually well controlled with conservative measures. Child-Pugh and APACHE scores are predictive of patient survival after TIPS. Randomized controlled trials will be necessary to assess whether TIPS is useful, safe, and cost effective for the management of variceal bleeding in patients with end stage liver disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas