PurposeTo compare survival after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation versus serial large volume paracenteses (LVP) in patients with refractory ascites and higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores.Materials and MethodsIn this retrospective study, from 1/1/2013 to 10/1/2018, 478 patients (294 male; mean age 58, range 23–89) underwent serial LVP (n = 386) or TIPS (n = 92) for ascites. Propensity-matched cohorts were constructed based on age, MELD, Charlson comorbidity index, varices, and hepatic encephalopathy. Survival was analyzed using a Cox proportional hazards model in which MELD score and TIPS were treated as time-dependent covariates. An interaction term was used to assess the impact of TIPS versus serial LVP on survival as a function of increasing MELD.ResultsIn the overall patient sample, higher MELD score predicted worse survival after either serial LVP or TIPS [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.13; p < 0.001], but there was no significant interaction between TIPS and higher MELD score conferring worse survival (HR = 1.01; p = 0.55). In 92 propensity-matched serial LVP and 92 TIPS patients, higher MELD score predicted worse survival after either serial LVP or TIPS (HR = 1.19; p < 0.001), but there was no significant survival interaction between TIPS and higher MELD (HR = 0.97; p = 0.22). In 30 propensity-matched serial LVP patients and 30 TIPS patients with baseline MELD greater than 18, TIPS did not predict worse survival (HR = 0.97; p = 0.94).ConclusionHigher MELD predicts poorer survival after either serial LVP or TIPS, but TIPS creation is not associated with worse survival compared to serial LVP in patients with higher MELD scoresLevel of EvidenceLevel 4, case series.