The effect of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt on platelet counts in patients with liver cirrhosis

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Thrombocytopenia is a well-known complication of liver cirrhosis. Although the pathogenesis of thrombocytopenia is not well understood, splenic congestion resulting from portal hypertension is considered the most significant underlying mechanism. Therapeutic measures that lower portal hypertension, such as transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS), are expected to improve thrombocytopenia associated with liver cirrhosis. At present, there are few studies on the effect of TIPS on platelet counts, and the results are conflicting. This article assesses the effect of TIPS on thrombocytopenia associated with liver cirrhosis. Methods: Seventy-four patients with liver cirrhosis who were referred for TIPS were included in this study. Platelet counts were measured on 3 different occasions over a 3-month period prior to and following placement of TIPS. Thrombocytopenia was defined as a platelet count of 150,000/mm3 or less. Moderate thrombocytopenia was defined as a platelet count of 100,000/mm3 or less. Severe thrombocytopenia was defined as a platelet count of 50,000/ mm3 or less. A significant increase in platelet count was defined as a 20% or higher increase from pre-TIPS values. The portosystemic pressure gradient (PSPG) was measured before and after placement of TIPS. The patency of the shunt was checked using Doppler ultrasound 24 hours and 3 months after the procedure. Results: Thirty-four of the 74 patients (46%) who underwent TIPS showed a significant increase in platelet count, with an average increase of 22% (P<.0005). Twenty-five of 40 patients (62%) with moderate thrombocytopenia showed a significant increase in platelet count, with an average increase of 36% (P<.0005). Patients with severe thrombocytopenia showed the greatest response to TIPS; 8 of 11 patients (73%) had a significant increase in platelet count (average increase, 55%; P<.0005). No correlation was found between the response to TIPS and age, sex, etiology of liver disease, pre-TIPS PSPG, or the amount of decrease in PSPG. Conclusion: TIPS may improve thrombocytopenia associated with liver cirrhosis. Patients with severe thrombocytopenia are more likely to benefit from this procedure. No factors other than pre-TIPS platelet count were found to influence the response to TIPS.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Massoud OI; Zein NN
  • Start Page

  • 286
  • End Page

  • 291
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 5