Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Jun 12. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2023.2223974. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is an established treatment for portal hypertension complications. Still, the role of adjuvant variceal embolization is a matter of debate. Thus, we aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of TIPS with variceal embolization versus TIPS alone to prevent variceal rebleeding.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used PubMed, CENTRAL, and OVID to search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative observational studies up to 17 June 2022. We pooled binary outcomes using risk ratios (RRs) presented with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using RevMan 5.4.
RESULTS: We included 11 studies (two RCTs and 9 observational studies) with 1024 patients. Pooled RR favored TIPS with embolization in preventing variceal rebleeding (RR 0.58, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.76); however, there was no difference between the two groups regarding shunt dysfunction (RR 0.92, 95% CI: 0.68, 1.23), encephalopathy (RR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.70, 1.11), and death (RR 0.97, 95% CI: 0.77, 1.22).
CONCLUSIONS: TIPS with embolization can be an effective strategy for preventing variceal rebleeding; however, our results should be interpreted cautiously as most data were observational and the technical quality of the embolization is questionable. Further RCTs are required using the proper techniques of embolization and comparing TIPS with embolization with other treatment modalities such as endoscopic ligation, and balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration.