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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt on secondary hypersplenism.

BACKGROUND: Portal hypertension is frequently associated with secondary hypersplenism, two common clinical manifestations of which are leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. Surgical portosystemic shunts alleviate portal hypertension but their effect on hypersplenism remains unpredictable. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a minimally invasive procedure for portal decompression. From current reports it is not clear if TIPS improves hypersplenism in patients with portal hypertension. We present a retrospective review of our experience with TIPS to determine the effect on hypersplenism. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-five patients who had a TIPS procedure between December 1991 and June 1994 were evaluated retrospectively. The records were specifically reviewed for platelet and white blood cell counts performed before the procedure, within a week after the procedure, and then again within the subsequent 3 weeks. Hypersplenism was defined as thrombocytopenia (platelet count of <100,000/mm3), leukopenia (white blood cell count of <5,000/mm3), or both. RESULTS: Thrombocytopenia alone was present in 33 patients and leukopenia alone in 4 patients before TIPS was performed. Both leukopenia and thrombocytopenia were present in 12 individuals. At least one of these indices of hypersplenism was present in 49 patients. Leukocyte count improved in 11 of 16 patients (69%) whereas platelet count improved in 34 of 45 patients (75%) within a week of the procedure. In the subsequent 3 weeks, leukopenia was relieved in 5 of 10 patients (50%) and thrombocytopenia in 21 of 28 patients (75%), respectively. Of the 12 patients who had both leukopenia and thrombocytopenia before TIPS, the indices improved in 4 patients (33%) within a week of the procedure. Thrombocytopenia was more consistently corrected as opposed to leukopenia, albeit in the short term. CONCLUSION: The TIPS procedure is a promising, minimally invasive method of portal decompression that is effective in the treatment of complications of portal hypertension including secondary hypersplenism.[1]


  1. Effect of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt on secondary hypersplenism. Pursnani, K.G., Sillin, L.F., Kaplan, D.S. Am. J. Surg. (1997) [Pubmed]
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