Treatment of chronic portosystemic encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients by embolization of portosystemic shunts


Gilles M Pelletier, Hopital de Bicetre, Hepatology and Gastroenterology, 78 rue du général Leclerc Le Kremlin-Bicetre F 94275 Paris, France
Tel: 33 1 45 21 37 22
Fax: 33 1 45 21 20 42


Aims/Backgrounds: Large spontaneous portal-systemic shunts can occasionally be the cause of chronic and disabling encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients. Shunt embolization has been proposed, however the clinical relevance of this technique remains uncertain.

Methods/Results: We report our results in seven patients treated by shunt embolization. Although the procedure was achieved and technically successful in all patients, the clinical results were poor as long-term improvement was obtained in only one patient. Three patients died within 3 months after the procedure from cirrhoses' end stage complications.

Conclusion: We believe that optimal management of these patients with chronic spontaneous encephalopathy is liver transplantation.