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Kanazawa H. Osada Y. Yoshimoto H. Narahara Y. Mamiya Y. Saitoh H. Matusaka S. Tada N. Kobayashi M. Kawamata H. Kumazaki T.
3rd Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School.
Five cirrhotic patients with refractory ascites were treated with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). Before TIPS, although patients were received salt restriction (5 g/day), diuretic therapy (furosemide 112 mg/day, spironolactone 140 mg/day), albumin infusion and paracentesis, ascites did not show improvement. After TIPS, urine volume and urinary sodium excretion increased significantly. Mean body weight decreased significantly from 73 kg before TIPS to 63 kg a month after TIPS. Improvement of ascites after TIPS were associated with a significant reduction in the dose of diuretics. On discharge, complete resolution of ascites was found in 2 patients and mild ascites remained in 3 other patients. Four patients presented 6 episodes of shunt stenosis in the follow-up period, and were treated with balloon dilatation. Ascites increased on shunt dysfunction and showed improvement after balloon dilatation. Post-TIPS encephalopathy was seen in 2 patients and one of 2 was disabled. In conclusion, although post-TIPS shunt dysfunction and encephalopathy are common. TIPS is an effective therapy for refractory ascites in patients with cirrhosis.