Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is defined by the presence of the triad of liver disease, arterial hypoxemia, and intrapulmonary vascular dilatation. The clinical implication of this disorder is impairment of gas exchange. Numerous reports in the literature show that this condition is reversible with orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). However, patients with HPS often present with Pao2 levels that are quite low. OLT with a preoperative Pao2 less than 50 mm Hg is associated with unacceptably high mortality and morbidity. We report a case of severe HPS in which a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt was successfully used to improve oxygenation, thus allowing a successful elective OLT.
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