Decreasing Risk of Life Saving TIPS Procedure in Liver Failure Patients

Principal Investigator: Lisa B. VanWagner MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) and Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology) Cirrhosis of the liver affects millions of Americans and leads to increased and life-threatening pressure in the blood vessels of the liver. One of the core treatments for this potentially deadly complication is a procedure called “TIPS.” While effectively reducing pressure in the liver, TIPS can result in heart failure in at least 20% of patients. The ability to identify patients at risk for cardiac dysfunction would allow clinicians to put into place targeted prevention strategies before and after TIPS. With that aim in mind, the VanWagner team is evaluating new imaging methods of the heart and liver to better understand how TIPS alters liver hemodynamics and changes cardiovascular structure, function, and flow in patients with cirrhosis undergoing TIPS. Study findings could lead to interventions to prevent the development of heart failure in this at-risk patient population, so more patients facing liver cirrhosis could safely receive the TIPS treatment while reducing the associated risk of heart...