Retrospective studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of pediatric and adolescent transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS), but long-term outcomes warrant further investigation.
To report on the development of hyperplastic hepatic nodular lesion development in children and young adults (3 years.
Eighteen children and young adults, including 10 (55.6%) females and 8 (44.4%) males, underwent TIPS creation with >3 years’ patency and follow-up evaluation at a tertiary children’s hospital. The mean age at the time of TIPS creation was 12.5±5.1 years (range: 1.5-20.0 years). The mean model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) at the time of TIPS creation was 8.1±1.6 (range: 6-11). Indications for TIPS creation included acute variceal bleeding (8/18, 44.4%), primary (1/18, 5.6%) or secondary (7/18, 38.9%) prevention of varices, portal vein thrombosis (1/18, 5.6%), and splenic sequestration (1/18, 5.6%). Technical successes, intra-procedural parameters, hemodynamic and clinical successes, TIPS patencies, adverse events, imaging evaluations, and follow-ups were recorded.
All (100%) TIPS placements were successful; however, a direct intrahepatic portosystemic shunt was created in one (5.6%) patient. Mean reduction of the portosystemic shunt gradient was 9.1±3.3 mmHg (range: 4-16 mmHg). Seventeen (94.4%) patients demonstrated clinical success with resolution of their initial clinical indication for TIPS placement. The 3-year TIPS primary, primary-assisted, and secondary patencies were 83.3% (15/18), 94.4% (17/18), and 100% (18/18), respectively. Two (11.1%) patients developed mild, medically controlled hepatic encephalopathy. One (5.6%) patient developed hepatopulmonary syndrome. Nine (50%) patients developed single or multiple hepatic nodules at a mean imaging surveillance time after TIPS of 4.4±3.0 years (range: 1.5-10.2 years). Six (33.3%) patients developed nodules >1 cm with imaging features most consistent with focal nodular hyperplasia or focal nodular hyperplasia-like nodules. The mean follow-up duration was 5.7±2.9 years (range: 3.0-13.1 years).
Long-term (>3 years) portosystemic shunting via TIPS is associated with the development of hepatic nodular lesions in children. Consequently, children with TIPS may need gray-scale assessment of hepatic parenchyma as part of routine ultrasound exams and extended imaging surveillance until more is understood regarding the natural history of induced nodularity.