Rifaximin may prevent hepatic encephalopathy after TIPS in patients with cirrhosis
In a randomized controlled trial, the antibiotic rifaximin used before and after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement, a minimally invasive procedure for treating portal hypertension-related complications of cirrhosis, helped to prevent hepatic encephalopathy compared to placebo. Adverse events were similar in both groups. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Potential complications of TIPS include shunt dysfunction and the development of hepatic encephalopathy. The rate of shunt dysfunction has been dramatically reduced by the use of polytetrafluoroethylene-