What is the role of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS)?

Updated: Oct 16, 2017
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The use of TIPS in the treatment of HRS has yet to be established. Due to its ability to reduce portal hypertension in patients with variceal bleeding and refractory ascites, its role in HRS initially seemed logical, particularly in view of isolated reports of renal function improvement following surgical shunts in the 1970s. However, TIPS quickly fell out of favor because of high morbidity and mortality rates.

Small, uncontrolled studies indicate that TIPS may improve RPF and the GFR and reduce the activity of the RAAS and SNS in patients who have cirrhosis with types 1 and 2 HRS. Improvement in renal function is usually slow and occurs in approximately 60% of patients. However, the effects on renal function can be variable, and some patients fare worse. As a result, the role of TIPS in the treatment of HRS remains investigational because of the lack of prospective studies and the known risks of the procedure.

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