Peritoneovenous Shunt as a Bridge to Liver Transplantation


*Corresponding author: Jérôme Dumortier,


Intractable ascites carries great morbidity. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of peritoneovenous shunt (PVS) in patients listed for liver transplantation (LT). Between January 1999 and January 2004, PVS was inserted in 36 (30 males and 6 females) cirrhotic patients, 50.3 years of median age (range: 30–66), who failed multiple large-volume paracenteses and diuretic therapy, when listed for LT. Data were collected until LT or the present time, and were compared to an historical cohort (1997–1998) as control. No operative death occurred. Four patients died before LT in a median delay of 9 months after PVS insertion. PVS provided palliation for intractable ascites in 30 patients (83%). Renal function significantly improved (glomerular filtration rate (GFR) improved from 0.642 to 0.987 mL/s, p < 0.05). Eighteen patients were transplanted in a median delay of 6 months (range: 3–12 months) after PVS insertion. When compared to the historical cohort of 18 patients, the occurrence of post-LT acute renal failure was significantly lower in the PVS group (3/18 vs. 13/18, p < 0.05). Our results suggest that PVS might be beneficial in patients with refractory ascites waiting for LT and could prevent postoperative acute renal failure.