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Endoscopic variceal band ligation compared with propranolol for prophylaxis of first variceal bleeding.

Author(s): Drastich P, Lata J, Petrtyl J, Bruha R, Prochazka V, Vanasek T, Zdenek P, Skibova J, Hucl T, Spicak J

Affiliation(s): Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic. drastich@hotmail.com

Publication date & source: 2011-04, Ann Hepatol., 10(2):142-9.

Publication type: Comparative Study; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

Administration of nonselective beta-blockers in prophylaxis of first variceal bleeding is not suitable for all patients. Thus, we evaluated endoscopic variceal band ligation (EVBL) in primary prevention of bleeding in patients with cirrhosis and large esophageal varices. A total of 73 consecutive patients with liver cirrhosis and large esophageal varices without a history of gastrointestinal bleeding were randomized to receive either EVBL or propranolol and were followed for up to 18 months. Forty patients underwent EVBL and 33 patients received propranolol. Variceal bleeding occurred in 2 patients in the EVBL (5%) and in 2 patients in the propranolol group (6%, NS). The 18 month actuarial risk for first variceal bleed was 5% in the EVBL (95% CI, 0-12%) and 20% in the propranolol group (95% CI, 0-49%, NS). The actuarial probability of death at 18 months of follow-up was 5% (95% CI, 0-11%) in the EVBL group and 7% (95% CI, 0-17%, NS) in the propranolol arm. In conclusion, EVBL was an effective and safe alternative to propranolol in primary prophylaxis of bleeding in patients with large esophageal varices.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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