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Case Reports in Radiology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 635391, 5 pages
Case Report

TIPS Placement via Combined Transjugular and Transhepatic Approach for Cavernous Portal Vein Occlusion: Targeted Approach

1Department of Interventional Radiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Health System, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, Campus Box 8131, 510 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Received 9 December 2012; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editors: R. Bhargava and E. Kapsalaki

Copyright © 2013 Natanel Jourabchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. We report a novel technique which aided recanalization of an occluded portal vein for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation in a patient with symptomatic portal vein thrombosis with cavernous transformation. Some have previously considered cavernous transformation a contraindication to TIPS. Case Presentation. 62-year-old man with chronic pancreatitis, portal vein thrombosis, portal hypertension and recurrent variceal bleeding presents with melena and hematemesis. The patient was severely anemic, hemodynamically unstable, and required emergent portal decompression. Attempts to recanalize the main portal vein using traditional transjugular access were unsuccessful. After percutaneous transhepatic right portal vein access and navigation of a wire through the occluded main portal vein, an angioplasty balloon was inflated at the desired site of shunt takeoff. The balloon was targeted and punctured from the transjugular approach, and a wire was passed into the portal system. TIPS placement then proceeded routinely. Conclusion. Although occlusion of the portal vein increases difficulty of performing TIPS, it should not be considered an absolute contraindication. We have described a method for recanalizing an occluded portal vein using a combined transhepatic and transjugular approach for TIPS. This approach may be useful to relieve portal hypertension in patients who fail endoscopic and/or surgical therapies.