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Steib, Christian J.; Li, Hanwei; Zhang, Jiang; Mayerle, Julia; Ricke, Jens; Gerbes, Alexander L.; Meyer, Carsten; Zipprich, Alexander; Trebicka, Jonel (2020): Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt for patients with liver cirrhosis: survey evaluating indications, standardization of procedures and anticoagulation in 43 German hospitals. In: European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Vol. 32, No. 9: pp. 1179-1185
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Objectives: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) insertion is an established treatment to lower portal pressure. There are no obligatory evidence-based recommendations addressing procedure and anticoagulation. Therefore, a survey was performed to establish current practice at different German hospitals. Methods A three-page survey was sent out via postal mail to 76 different hospitals addressing the topics indication, contraindication, follow-up and anticoagulation. Results Forty-three hospitals completed the survey: the median number of TIPS/year was 28.6 +/- 23. Ascites and hydrothorax were announced as the main indications. Bilirubin levels above 5 mg/dl, hepatic encephalopathy and cardiac disease were considered as absolute contraindications in most hospitals, but age was not. The biggest variations were reported with regard to anticoagulation after TIPS procedure. Four hospitals never used any anticoagulation;most hospitals reported the use of low molecular weight heparins for a period of days up to 4 weeks. But also aspirin or clopidogrel was used after TIPS insertion in eight different hospitals. Additionally, the standards for follow-up after TIPS insertion were different in the hospitals. Conclusions: There is no consensus how to handle indication, contraindications and anticoagulation after the TIPS procedure. A national and international consensus is warranted to improve the outcome of TIPS patients and reduce secondary complications. In addition to compare results and efficacy in the future standard operation procedures as proposed here need to be put in place.