Stockhoff L, et al. PLoS One 2020.
BACKGROUND & AIMS: The management of patients with refractory ascites (RA) is challenging, particularly at higher age. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is an established treatment for RA, but safety data in elderly patients are rare. Our aim was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of TIPS in elderly patients with RA.
METHODS: Overall, 160 consecutive cirrhotic patients receiving a TIPS for RA at Hannover Medical School between 2012 and 2018 were considered for this retrospective analysis. Periinterventional complications such as acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) as well as survival were compared between patients <65 and ≥65 years. Propensity score matching was conducted to match elderly TIPS patients and patients treated with paracentesis.
RESULTS: A number of 53 out of the 160 patients were ≥65 years (33%). Periinterventional course in those ≥65 years appeared to be slightly more complicated than in <65 years as reflected by a significantly longer hospital stay (p = 0.030) and more ACLF-episodes (21% vs. 9%; p = 0.044). 28-day mortality was similar between both groups (p = 0.350), whereas survival of the younger patients was significantly higher at 90 days (p = 0.029) and numerically higher at 1 year (p = 0.171). In the multivariate analysis age ≥65 years remained an independent predictor for 90-day mortality (HR: 2.58; p = 0.028), while it was not associated with 28-day and 1-year survival. Importantly, after matching for potential confounders 1-year survival was similar in elderly patients if treated with TIPS or paracentesis (p = 0.419).
CONCLUSIONS: TIPS placement in elderly patients with RA appears to be slightly more complicated compared to younger individuals, but overall feasible and at least not inferior to paracentesis.