Tijdschrift voor geneeskunde vol:59 issue:6 pages:390-394
Hepatic hydrothorax, an indication for intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
Hepatic hydrothorax is a pleural effusion occurring in patients with liver cirrhosis, in the absence of any underlying cardiopulmonary disease. It is an expression of terminal liver disease and leads to dyspnea which is difficult to control with drug therapy alone.
Therapy aims to reduce the portal hypertension. This is possible by the technique of a Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS). Liver transplantation is the only curative therapy. In this paper, epidemiology, pathophysiology and therapy of this clinical syndrome, as well as the results of TIPS in our liver centre in Leuven, Belgium, will be discussed.