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Psoas Muscle Density Predicts Occurrences of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients Receiving Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts within 1 year



We aimed to assess the efficacy of psoas density (PD) for predicting hepatic encephalopathy (HE) after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedures.


Data were collected from patients who underwent TIPS procedures at a single institution between 2013 and 2019. PD was manually measured using software on unenhanced CT scans at the level of third lumbar vertebra. Laboratory and physical examination data were collected within 24 h after admission in order to compare the differences between patients with and without post-TIPS HE.


A total of 251 patients were included in this study. Among these patients, 77 (30.7%) developed post-TIPS HE within one year after TIPS creation. The threshold of PD for predicting HE was 51.24 Hounsfield unit (HU). PD values less than this threshold were correlated with an increased risk of HE (hazard ratio 0.92; 95% CI 0.89–0.95, P < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of PD was 0.743 (95% CI 0.685–0.796), which was superior to Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) (0.569, P = 0.007), albumin–bilirubin score (ALBI) (0.641, P = 0.018), and Child–Pugh score (0.583, P = 0.003).


PD measurement showed good HE predictive value in cirrhotic patients who underwent TIPS. This measure also performed better than MELD, ALBI and Child–Pugh.

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This study received no grant from any funding.

Author information




WC contributed to the study conception and design. Data collection was performed by HL, RQ, XL and YZ, WC and analyzed by the above five authors. The first draft of the manuscript was written by WC, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. And the whole process was supervised by ZH. All authors contributed to the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the submission.

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Correspondence to Zhiming Huang.

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The study was approved by the hospital’s Institutional Review Board and conformed to the principles of the Helsinki Declaration.

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Cai, W., Lin, H., Qi, R. et al. Psoas Muscle Density Predicts Occurrences of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients Receiving Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts within 1 year. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol (2021).

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  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
  • Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD)
  • Albumin–bilirubin (ALBI)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Psoas muscle density
  • Sarcopenia