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Group of Michael Schultheiß and Dominik Bettinger

Research interest

Portal hypertension is a major hallmark in patients with advanced cirrhosis and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, portal hypertension may also develop in patients without cirrhosis such as if portal vein thrombosis develops or in patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome.  Medical and/or endoscopic treatment as well as implantation of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) are well-established therapies in these patients.

In our group we focus on clinical relevant questions in the field of interventional hepatology with a special focus on TIPS implantation. Currently our research topics are:

  • Interaction between portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with liver cirrhosis
  • Clinical management of symptomatic cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic portal hypertension 
  • Interventional management of Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • Development of prognostic scores for patients with TIPS implantation

With regrad to the last topic we have established an alternative risk score for patients with TIPS implantation. This newly developed score (Freiburg index of post TIPS survival) accurately identifies patients with a high risk for reduced survival.

Group leaders

Dr. Michael Schultheiß


+49 (0) 761 270-34010

PD Dr. Dominik Bettinger


+49 (0) 761 270-34010

Group members

Dr. Lukas Sturm


+49 (0) 761 270-34010

Dr. Marlene Reincke


+49 (0) 761 270-34010

Jan Patrick Huber


+49 (0) 761 270-33570

Dr. Florian Offensperger


+49 (0) 761 270-34010

Bettinger D., Knüppel E., Euringer W., Spangenberg HC, Rössle M., Thimme R., Schultheiß M. Efficacy and safety of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt in 40 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jan;41(1):126-36

Bettinger D, Schultheiss M, Boettler T, Muljono M, Thimme R, Rössle M. Procedural and shunt-related complications and mortality of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPSS). Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016Nov;44(10):1051-1061  

Sturm L., Bettinger D., Giesler M., Boettler T., Schmidt A., Buettner N., Thimme R., Schultheiss M. Treatment with proton pump inhibitors increases the risk for development of hepatic encephalopathy after implantation of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS); United European Gastroenterol J. 2018 Nov;6(9):1380-1390

Rössle M., Fritz B., Blanke P., Schultheiß M., Bettinger D. Free hepatic vein pressure is not useful to calculate the portal pressure gradient in cirrhosis: a morphological and hemodynamic study. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2016Aug;27(8):1130-7

Schultheiss M., Giesler M., Schmidt A., Sturm L., Thimme R., Rössle M., Bettinger D. Adjuvant transjugular variceal occlusion at TIPS implantation: efficacy and risks of bucrylate embolization. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2019 May;42(5):729-736.

Bettinger D, Sturm L, Pfaff L, Hahn F Kloeckner R, Volkwein L, Praktiknjo M, Lv Y, Han G, Huber JP, Boettler T, Reincke M, Klinger C, Caca K, Heinzow H, Seifert LL, Weiss KH, Rupp C,  Piecha F, Kluwe J, Zipprich A, Luxenburger H, Neumann-Haefelin C, Schmidt A, Jansen C, Meyer C, Uschner FE, Brol MJ, Trebicka J, Rössle M, Thimme R, Schultheiss M. Refining prediction of survival after TIPS with the novel Freiburg index of post-TIPS survival, J Hepatol. 2021 Jan 25:S0168-8278(21)00035-0

Schultheiss M, Bettinger D, Sturm L, Schmidt A, Backhus J, Waidmann O, Radecke K, Grandt D, Thimme R, Rössle M. Comparison of the Covered Self-Expandable Viatorr CX Stent with the Covered Balloon-Expandable BeGraft Peripheral Stent for Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Creation: a Single-Centre Retrospective Study in Patients with Variceal Bleeding. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2022 Jan 12. doi: 10.1007/s00270-021-03040-8

Sturm L, Praktiknjo M, Bettinger D, Huber JP, Volkwein L, Schmidt A, Kaeser R, Chang J, Jansen C, Meyer C, Thomas D, Thimme R, Trebicka J, Schultheiß M. Prognostic Value of the CLIF-C AD Score in Patients With Implantation of Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt. Hepatol Commun. 2021 Jan 5;5(4):650-660.

Rössle M, Bettinger D, Trebicka J, Klinger C, Praktiknjo M, Sturm L, Caca K, Mücke VT, Radecke K, Engelmann C, Zipprich A, Heinzow H, Meyer C, Tappe U, Appenrodt B, Schmidt A, Lange C, Strassburg C, Zeuzem S, Grandt D, Schmidt H, Moessner J, Berg T, Lammert F, Thimme R, Schultheiß M. A prospective, multicentre study in acute noncirrhotic, nonmalignant portal vein thrombosis: comparison of medical and interventional treatment Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Jul;52(2):329-339.

Seifert LL, Schindler P, Sturm L, Gu W, Seifert QE, Weller JF, Jansen C, Praktiknjo M, Meyer C, Schoster M, Wilms C, Maschmeier M, Schmidt HH, Masthoff M, Köhler M, Schultheiss M, Huber JP, Bettinger D, Trebicka J, Wildgruber M, Heinzow H. Aspirin improves transplant-free survival after TIPS implantation in patients with refractory ascites: a retrospective multicentre cohort study. Hepatol Int. 2022 Jun;16(3):658-668.