Department of Radiology/Interventional Radiology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, D1, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070, India.
Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) is a widely accepted treatment for gastric varices, but data are limited in regard to its role in the management of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). This study evaluated the efficacy of BRTO with foam sclerotherapy in the management of HE arising as a result of spontaneous large portosystemic shunts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Eight sessions of BRTO with sodium tetradecyl sulfate foam were performed in seven patients with cirrhosis complicated by HE. All patients had portosystemic communication (ie, gastro-/lienorenal shunt) on preprocedure computed tomography. Clinical and laboratory parameters including arterial ammonia level were evaluated in all patients before and after the procedure.
Technical success rates were 86% (six of seven) for the first BRTO session and 100% (one of one) for the second. Follow-up imaging revealed complete obliteration of the varices in five of seven patients (71%) and partial obliteration in the remaining two. Immediate clinical improvement of HE was observed in six of seven patients (86%), with postprocedural decrease in arterial ammonia levels; one patient showed delayed improvement. Procedure-related complications (eg, abnormal liver function test results, acute kidney injury with leukocytosis) were encountered in two patients. All patients showed clinical and symptomatic improvement at the time of discharge and during a follow-up of 4 months (with visits at 1 mo and 3 mo later).
Initial experience suggests that BRTO is an effective procedure in the management of HE arising as a result of large portosystemic shunts.