Published online Jul 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i25.3882
Revised: December 15, 2004
Accepted: December 20, 2004
Published online: July 7, 2005
AIM: To examine the correlation between the porto-systemic hypertension evaluated by portal shunt index (PSI) and life-threatening complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver failure (Child-Pugh stage progression), and esophagogastric varices.
METHODS: Two hundred and twelve consecutive subjects with HCV-related cirrhosis (LC-C) underwent per-rectal portal scintigraphy. They were allocated into three groups according to their PSI: group I, PSI ≤ 10%; group II, 10%<PSI<30%; and group III, 30% ≤ PSI. Of these, selected 122 Child-Pugh stage A (Child A) subjects were included in analysis (a mean follow-up period of 5.9 ± 5.4 years, range 6 mo-21 years).
RESULTS: No significant correlation between PSI and cumulative probability of HCC incidence was observed. Cumulative probability of Child A to B progression was tended to be higher in group III than in group I, and significantly higher in group III than in group II (62% vs 34%, 62% vs 37%; P = 0.060, <0.01; respectively). Cumulative probability of varices tended to be higher in group III than in group I (31% vs 12%, P = 0.090). On multivariate analyses, significant correlation between PSI and Child A to B progression was observed, and no significant correlation between PSI and HCC incidence or varices progression was observed.
CONCLUSION: Patients with LC-C of Child A will progress to Child B rapidly after their PSI reaches 30% or higher. PSI can be used to predict occult progressive porto-systemic shunting and liver failure non-invasively. It indicates that PSI may play an important role in follow-up of the porto-systemic hypertension gradient for outpatients with LC unlike hepatic venous catheterization.