Does Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Resolve Thrombocytopenia Associated with Cirrhosis?

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Thrombocytopenia is frequently present in patients with cirrhosis. The effect of portal decompression on thrombocytopenia using a variety of shunt procedures has been contradictory. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) has been proposed as a less invasive procedure for portal decompression, mainly for control of variceal bleeding or intractable ascites. Its effect on thrombocytopenia has not been defined yet. The aim of this review is to define the effect of TIPS on patients with cirrhosis and thrombocytopenia. Sixty-two patients who underwent TIPS at the University of Pittsburgh and survived without transplant for more than two months were included. Platelet count was determined prior to TIPS as well as at one-week, one-month, and three-month intervals after TIPS. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia prior to TIPS was 49%. TIPS had no effect on thrombocytopenia even when the portosystemic gradient was reduced to less than 12 mm Hg. In conclusion, portal decompression after TIPS did not affect the degree of thrombocytopenia.

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