Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tract| Volume 55, ISSUE 3, P381-386, March 2023

Treatment of refractory hepatic encephalopathy induced by spontaneous portosystemic shunt: Selective splenic vein embolization versus shunt embolization

Published:September 26, 2022DOI:


      Background and aims

      Spontaneous portosystemic shunt (SPSS) can cause refractory hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in cirrhotic patients. The embolization of the shunt (ES) can resolve the HE, while the selective embolization of the splenic vein (SESV) can treat splenorenal shunts related HE. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of ES and SESV when applied for the treatment of SPSS-induced refractory HE in cirrhotic patients.


      Patients with refractory HE who were treated with ES or SESV were retrospectively identified. The clinical outcomes were compared and analyzed.


      The 6-month mortality after the ES procedure was significantly higher than that after the SESV procedure. During the 6-month follow-up, both the white blood cell and the platelet counts were significantly lower after the ES procedure than after the SESV procedure. There was a significant increase in aspartate aminotransferase levels after ES. However, the albumin levels as well as the Child–Pugh score and grade were found to be significantly improved at 6 months after the undertaking of an SESV (as compared with baseline).


      The 6-month mortality was improved after SESV (as compared with ES) in the treatment of SPSS-induced refractory HE. A prospective multicenter study for validation is warranted.


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