INTRODUCTION: The impact of sarcopenia in patients undergoing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPSS) insertion for refractory ascites is unknown. METHODS: All adult patients who underwent TIPSS insertion for refractory ascites between 2010 and 2018 were included. Skeletal muscle index at L3 was used to determine sarcopenia status. RESULTS: One hundred seven patients were followed for 14.2 months. Sarcopenia was present in 57% of patients. No patient had history of pre-TIPSS hepatic encephalopathy (HE). De novo HE occurred in 30% of patients. On multivariate analysis, only platelet count and L3-SMI predicted de novo HE. On multivariate analysis, age and model for end-stage liver disease with sodium predicted mortality, whereas L3-SMI and sarcopenia did not. In patients with repeat imaging, L3-SMI improved significantly post-TIPSS compared with baseline. DISCUSSION: Sarcopenia should not be considered as a contraindication to TIPSS insertion in refractory ascites because it is not associated with de novo HE or increased mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas