MELD Score as a Predictor of Early Death in Patients Undergoing Elective Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Procedures
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PURPOSE: To Evaluate the MELD score as a predictor of 30-day mortality in patients undergoing elective TIPS procedures. METHODS: This was a retrospective, IRB-approved study. The medical records of all patients who underwent a TIPS procedure between May 1, 1999 and June 1, 2003 in a single institution were reviewed. Patients who underwent elective TIPS were selected. Elective TIPS was performed in 119 patients with a mean age of 55.1 (+/- 9.6) years. The MELD and Child-Pugh scores before TIPS, etiology of cirrhosis, portosystemic gradients before and after TIPS, procedure time, and procedural complications were obtained from the medical records. The MELD and Child-Pugh scores before TIPS were compared between the survivor group (SG) and the early death (EDG) group. The early death rate was calculated for MELD score subgroups (1-10, 11-17, 18-24, and >24). Data were analyzed using the Fisher exact test, chi-square test and independent-sample t-test. A p value of less than 0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: Technical success rate was 100%. The early death rate was 10.9% (13/119). The mean MELD scores before TIPS were 19.4 (+/- 5.9) (EDG) and 14 (+/- 4.2) (SG) (p = 0.025). The early death rate was highest in the pre-TIPS MELD > 24 subgroup. The Child-Pugh scores were 9.0 (+/- 1.6) (SG) and 9.8 +/- 1.06 (EDG) (p = 0.08). The mean portosystemic gradients before TIPS were 20.5 (+/- 7.7) mmHg (EDG) and 22.7 (+/- 7.3) (SG) (p > 1) and the mean portosystemic gradients after TIPS were 6.5 (+/- 3.5) (EDG) and 6.9 (+/- 2.4) (SG) (p > 1). The mean procedural times were 95.6 (+/- 8.4) min (EDG) and 89.2 (+/- 7.5) min (SG) (p > 1). No early death was attributed to a fatal complication during TIPS. CONCLUSION: The MELD score is useful in identifying patients at a higher risk of early death after an elective TIPS. On th basis of our results, we do not endorse elective TIPS in patients with MELD scores > 24.
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