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Goals: To determine whether increased pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) following transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPSS) results in short-term mortality or cardiorespiratory complications.

Background: TIPSS is frequently performed for complications of cirrhosis. PAP increases following TIPSS; however consequences of this phenomenon are unknown.

Study: Demographics, disease severity and etiology were recorded among patients undergoing TIPSS. PAP before and following TIPSS were measured and the relationship between PAP before and after TIPSS, and subsequent cardiorespiratory complications and mortality was examined.

Results: Thirty-one patients were enrolled (mean age 53 years, 74% men, 55% Child-Pugh class C cirrhosis). TIPSS was performed for variceal bleeding in 84% of cases. Ten patients (32%) died 5-20 days following TIPSS. PAP increased significantly following TIPSS (mean 20.8 mm Hg pre-TIPSS (95% CI 18.2-23.4) to 26.9 mm Hg post-TIPSS (95% CI 24.2-29.6, P = 0.0016). Congestive heart failure developed in 4 patients (13%), sepsis in 4 (13%), and ARDS in 8 (26%). Increased PAP following TIPSS was not associated with early mortality (P = 0.13), CHF (P = 0.31), or ARDS (P = 0.43). ARDS was the only significant predictor of short-term mortality following TIPSS (OR 18.7, P = 0.02 (95% CI: 1.5-232).

Conclusion: PAP increases after TIPSS and cardiorespiratory complications are common, yet unrelated to increased PAP. ARDS is independently associated with increased risk of mortality after TIPSS.

(C) 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.