Refractory ascites and recurrent variceal bleeding are among the serious complications of portal hypertension and cirrhosis for which a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) can be used. Cirrhotic patients have varying degrees of haemodynamic derangement, mainly characterized by peripheral arterial vasodilatation, central underfilling and activation of several vasoactive systems. These changes affect the heart, the lungs and the kidneys in particular. The cardiac effects of TIPS are immediate and are related to the redirection of blood from the splanchnic circulation into the systemic circulation, resulting in worsening of the hyperdynamic circulation with increasing cardiac output and decreasing systemic vascular resistance; further, TIPS may unmask a latent diastolic dysfunction of the heart. However, the renal effects of TIPS seem to be beneficial as renal function tends to improve in patients with the hepatorenal syndrome. The clinical and haemodynamic effects of TIPS have been studied intensively and will be reviewed in the present paper. Considerable knowledge on the effects of TIPS on the pathophysiology of cirrhosis has been gained, but studies on the central haemodynamic effects are warranted to refine the already applied treatments and develop new treatment modalities.
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2013, Vol 25, Issue 5, p. 523-530
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review