Humoral and cardiac effects of TIPS in cirrhotic patients with different “effective” blood volume



The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac effects of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) in cirrhotic patients with different effective blood volume. Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed before and 7 and 28 days after TIPS insertion in 7 cirrhotic patients with PRA <4 ng/mL/h (group A, normal effective blood volume) and 15 with PRA >4 ng/mL/h (group B, reduced effective blood volume). Before TIPS, most cirrhotic patients showed diastolic dysfunction as indicated by reduced early maximal ventricular filling velocity (E)/late filling velocity (A) ratio. Patients of group B differed from patients of group A because of smaller left ventricular volumes and stroke volume, indicating central underfilling. After TIPS insertion, portal decompression was associated with a significant increase of cardiac output (CO) and a decrease of peripheral resistances. The most important changes were recorded in patients of group B, who showed a significant increase of both the end-diastolic left ventricular volumes and the E/A ratio and a significant decrease of PRA. In conclusion, these results show that the hemodynamic effects of TIPS differ according to the pre-TIPS effective blood volume. Furthermore, TIPS improves the diastolic cardiac function of cirrhotic patients with effective hypovolemia. This result is likely due to a TIPS-related improvement of the fullness of central blood volume.