TIPS vs endoscopic treatment for prevention of recurrent variceal bleeding: A long-term follow-up of 126 patients
Recurrent bleeding from gastroesophageal varices is the most common life-threatening complication of portal hypertension. According to guidelines, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) should not be used as a first-line treatment and should be limited to those bleedings which are refractory to pharmacologic and endoscopic treatment (ET). To our knowledge, long-term studies evaluating the role of elective TIPS in comparison to ET in patients with recurrent variceal bleeding episodes are rare.
Patients and methods
This study was designed as a retrospective single-institution analysis of 70 patients treated with TIPS and 56 with ET. Patients were followed-up from inclusion in the study until death, liver transplantation, the last follow-up observation or until the end of our study.
Recurrent variceal bleeding was significantly more frequent in ET group compared to patients TIPS group (66.1% vs21.4%, p < 0.001; χ2-test). The incidence of death secondary to recurrent bleeding was higher in the ET group (28.6% vs10%). Cumulative survival after 1 year, 2 years and 5 years in TIPS group compared to ET group was 85% vs 83%, 73% vs 67% and 41% vs 35%. The main cause of death in patients with cumulative survival more than 2 years was liver failure. Median observation time was 47 months (range; 2-194 months) in the TIPS group and 40 months (range; 1-168 months) in the ET group.
TIPS is more effective in the prevention of recurrent variceal bleeding and has lower mortality due to recurrent variceal bleeding compared to ET.
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