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Abstract

Hepatic venoocclusive disease (VOD) is a common, life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Portal hypertension is usually present and accounts for many of the clinical manifestations of this syndrome. We describe the results of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) for the management of VOD after BMT TIPS was performed in six patients with histologically confirmed VOD who had progressive jaundice and ascites. Portal hypertension was improved by TIPS in all patients (mean portal pressure gradient before TIPS, 20.2 +/- 4.6 vs. 6.7 +/- 1.9 mm Hg post-TIPS, P < .004). Three patients who underwent TIPS late in the course of VOD did not demonstrate any clinical improvement after TIPS and expired within 2 weeks of the procedure. The remaining three patients had less advanced disease and demonstrated decreases in serum bilirubin, improvement in coagulopathy, and decreased ascites after TIPS. Two patients subsequently expired, one with persistent histological changes of VOD. The lone survivor continues to do well with resolution of ascites, jaundice, and coagulopathy as of her last outpatient visit. TIPS was an effective method for portal decompression in patients with VOD after BMT, and was associated with clinical improvement in some patients. However, these effects may be transient and may not improve overall survival.