Paradoxical embolization in TIPS: Take a closer look to the heart

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No definitive indications are provided in the literature for pre-TIPS patient workup, which is often limited to prevent the incidence of refractory hepatic encephalopathy or unacceptable deterioration of liver function. Concerning cardiologic workup, efforts are generally limited at excluding ventricular failure or porto-pulmonary hypertension. The cases presented herein focus the attention of the readers on the possible occurrence of post-TIPS paradoxical embolization in the presence of a patent foramen ovale, frequently recognized in adult population. In conclusion, although this complication has been already reported in literature, in the present manuscript we concentrate on possible additional risk factors which may allow to identify a subset of patients with a higher likelihood to experience paradoxical embolization following TIPS. Another important line of information presented herein is the feasibility of percutaneous closure of a patent foramen ovale before TIPS deployment in the presence of portal vein thrombosis and possibly with additional risk factors.




Vizzutti, F., Rega, L., Arena, U., Romanelli, R. G., Meucci, F., Barletta, G., … Marra, F. (2015). Paradoxical embolization in TIPS: Take a closer look to the heart. Annals of Hepatology, 14(1), 127–131.

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