DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.14822 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 14822: Portopulmonary Hypertension Unveiled: Effects of Transjugular Intrahepatic Portopulmonary Shunt Placement

Eson J Ekpo, Daniel Ng, Malhar Patel
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) treat portal hypertension by connecting the portal vein to the hepatic vein in the liver. The resultant shunting of portal venous flow to the systemic circulation helps reduce the portosystemic gradient and is used to treat complications of portal hypertension. Right heart failure and the development of pulmonary hypertension after TIPS are known complications; however, portopulmonary hypertension (POPH) is rare.

Description of Case: A 61-year-old male presents to the clinic for six months of exertional dyspnea, weight gain, and lower extremity edema. He has a history of coronary artery disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis cirrhosis, with TIPS placement four years prior for esophageal variceal bleeding. An echocardiogram revealed right ventricular (RV) dilatation with moderately reduced function, a flattened left ventricular septum, and an estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure of 91 mmHg. An echocardiogram and right heart catheterization (RHC) performed before his TIPS showed normal RV function and pulmonary artery pressures (PAP).

Decision Making: The patient was promptly started on furosemide and spironolactone, and after adequate diuresis, a repeat RHC was obtained, which showed significantly elevated PAP, and normal left-sided filling pressures and cardiac output. Other causes of pulmonary hypertension were ruled out, and the patient was started on tadalafil monotherapy for severe POPH, with significant improvement in his PAP (Table 1).

Conclusion: POPH after TIPS is a rare complication that should be suspected in patients presenting with signs of right-sided volume overload. The mechanism by which TIPS leads to POPH is not entirely understood. The degree of RV dysfunction correlates with mortality, and prompt treatment is warranted.

More from our Archive