Endotipsitis-persistent infection of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt: Pathogenesis, clinical features and management

Meir Mizrahi, Tomer Adar, Daniel Shouval, Allan I. Bloom, Oren Shibolet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is in widespread use for the decompression of portal pressure. The entity of persistent TIPS infection, also known as 'endotipsitis' is a rare but serious complication of TIPS insertion. The exact definition of 'endotipsitis' is still debated, but involves persistent bacteremia and fever together with either shunt occlusion, or vegetation, or bacteremia in the presence of a patent shunt, when other sources of bacteremia have been ruled out. To date, approximately 40 cases of 'endotipsitis' have been described, with predominance for male and alcoholic hepatitis patients. The clinical course is variable, but fever and chills are a constant feature. Bacteremia, can either occur early (<120 days) or late (>120 days) after stent insertion, with some cases occurring many years after the procedure. Although no predominant bacterial species have been described in 'endotipsitis', staphylococci and other Gram-positive bacteria are more commonly seen in early infection. The diagnosis of 'endotipsitis' is difficult and requires a high index of suspicion. A rigorous imaging work-up to rule out other sources of endovascular infection is usually required including ultrasonography, computed tomography and echocardiography. Because removal of the infected stent is impractical, treatment is empirical and based on a prolonged course of antibiotics. If eligible, some patients may be referred for liver transplantation. The use of prophylactic antibiotics during the initial TIPS procedure is controversial, and despite the lack of evidence, prophylaxis is the common practice. The aim of this review was to describe the definition, clinical course, diagnosis, pathogenesis, microbiology, treatment and outcome of endotipsitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalLiver International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Endotipsitis
  • Endovascular infection
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt


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