Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) are major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Chronic liver disease causes approximately 1.32 million deaths per year. Cirrhosis is the 11th leading cause of death and 15th leading cause of morbidity, accounting for 2.2% of deaths in the world.
A spontaneous portosystemic shunt (SPSS) is a rare malformation of the vessels supplying the liver that can lead to the development of hepatic encephalopathy due to excessive shunting of blood from the portal vein to the inferior vena cava.
Liver disease can be a serious condition, and sometimes it requires treatment that involves a procedure called transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). While TIPS can be effective, one of the complications that may arise from the procedure is overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE). OHE is a condition where brain function is affected due to the accumulation of toxins in the body, resulting from liver damage.
A clinical trial investigates the benefit of SPSS embolization before the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure in the prevention of hepatic encephalopathy.
Clinical TrialThe trial has shown that concurrent large spontaneous portosystemic shunt embolization can prevent OHE after TIPS.
The clinical trial, which was published in the journal Hepatology, involved 56 patients with cirrhosis and large SPSS planning to undergo TIPS for the prevention of variceal bleeding. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either TIPS alone or TIPS with concurrent SPSS embolization. The primary outcome of the study was to compare the incidence of OHE between the two groups.