The Role of Spleen and Liver Elastography and Color-Doppler Ultrasound in the Assessment of Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Function

Mariangela Giunta, Vincenzo La Mura, Clara Benedetta Conti, Giovanni Casazza, Giulia Tosetti, Daniele Gridavilla, Simone Segato, Antonio Nicolini, Massimo Primignani, Pietro Lampertico, Mirella Fraquelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reference standard for assessing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) function is venography with portosystemic pressure gradient (PPG) measurement. This procedure is invasive and expensive; thus, we assessed the feasibility, reproducibility and diagnostic accuracy of color-Doppler ultrasound (CDUS) and spleen and liver stiffness (LS) measurements for identifying TIPS dysfunction. Twenty-four patients (15 undergoing TIPS placement and nine undergoing TIPS revision) consecutively underwent CDUS examination and LS and spleen stiffness (SS) determination by transient elastography (TE) and point shear-wave elastography (pSWE). All parameters were taken before TIPS placement/revision (1–15 d before) and 24 h after, just before revision by venography. pSWE inter-observer agreement was assessed by intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). CDUS and elastographic data were correlated (Pearson coefficient) with pressure gradients (hepatic venous pressure gradient [HVPG], PPG). Main determinants of TIPS dysfunction were investigated by linear regression. Forty-nine paired examinations were performed in total: 49 (100%) SS reliable measurements by pSWE and 38 (88%) by TE. The ICC for pSWE values was 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.81‒0.94). SS values significantly correlated with HVPG and PPG (R = 0.51, p = 0.01). The area under the Receiver-Operating Characteristic (AUROC) curve of SS for diagnosing TIPS dysfunction was 0.86 (95% CI 0.70‒0.96) using a 25 kPa cutoff. At multivariate analysis, the flow direction of the intrahepatic portal vein branches and SS values were independently associated to TIPS dysfunction. The intrahepatic portal vein branches flow direction and SS value are two simple, highly sensitive parameters accurately excluding TIPS dysfunction. SS measurement by pSWE is feasible, reproducible and both positively and significantly correlates with HVPG and PPG values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1650
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Color-Doppler ultrasound
  • Elastography
  • Liver stiffness
  • Spleen stiffness
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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