BACKGROUND: Although band ligation is now recommended for prevention of rebleeding from oesophageal varices in cirrhosis, sclerotherapy is still widely used. Patients submitted to chronic sclerotherapy undergo several endoscopies and experience a large number of serious complications. However, long-term outcome is poorly defined.AIMS: To assess the clinical course and prognostic indicators of patients undergoing chronic sclerotherapy for prevention of variceal rebleeding as a basis for future evaluation of long-term band ligation outcome.METHODS: Prospective cohort study; prognostic analysis by the Cox proportional hazards model.RESULTS: A total of 218 consecutive cirrhotic patients (37 Child class A, 154 B, 27 C) were enrolled in the study Varices were obliterated in 139 (64%) patients in a mean of 5 (+/-2.6) sessions and recurred in 58/139 (41.7%) within one year. A total of 132 (60%) patients experienced 283 rebleeding episodes and 73 (33%) died. Bleeding from oesophageal ulcers was the most serious complication causing 14% of all rebleeding episodes. Significant prognostic indicators of sclerotherapy outcome were: Child-Pugh class for variceal obliteration; gastric varices and platelet count for recurrence of varices; failure to obliterate varices, variceal size and gastric varices for rebleeding; blood urea nitrogen and failure to obliterate varices for death. Presence of gastric varices was the only prognostic indicator for death in the 79 patients not achieving variceal obliteration. A mean of 10 endoscopies and of 6 hospital admissions were needed per each patient with an estimated cost of US dollars 7154 per patient during the first two years of therapy.CONCLUSIONS: Sclerotherapy is a very demanding and costly treatment, and is associated with frequent and serious side-effects. The probability of treatment failure is significantly higher in Child C patients with gastric varices. Alternative treatments should be considered for these patients.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Digestive and Liver Disease|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2000|
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