Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Clinical School of Medical College, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210002, China; College of Civil Aviation, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210016, China.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) are still unclear. Our aim is to assess the TIPS-induced CBF changes and their potential clinical significance using the arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion magnetic resonance imaging.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Nine cirrhotic patients underwent ASL 1-8 days before and 4-7 days after TIPS. CBF was calculated at each voxel and mean CBF values were computed in the whole brain, gray matter and white matter. Changes of CBFs before and after TIPS were compared by paired t-test.
Voxel-wise results showed CBF diffusely increased in patients after TIPS, but no region with significant decrease in CBF was found, nor was any significant mean CBF difference detected in the whole brain, gray matter and white matter. Six patients out of nine showed a global CBF increase of 9-39%; one patient presented a global CBF decrease of 6%; another two showed a global CBF decrease of 16% and 31% respectively. Follow-up studies showed that the two patients with greatly decreased global CBF suffered from multiple episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) after TIPS and one died of OHE.
CBF derived from noninvasive ASL MRI could be used as a useful biomarker to predict the development of OHE through consecutively tracking CBF changes in patients with inserted TIPS. Increased CBFs in many cortical regions could be common effects of the TIPS procedure, while decreased global CBF following TIPS might indicate the development of OHE.