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Hepatogastroenterology. 2006 Jul-Aug;53(70):552-7.

Primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in cirrhotics awaiting liver transplantation.

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  • 1Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania. drgheorghe@xnet.ro



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic band ligation and propranolol versus propranolol alone for the primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in patients with high-risk esophageal varices listed for liver transplantation.


Out of 152 cirrhotic patients included on the waiting list between January 2001 and January 2003, high-risk esophageal varices were detected in 72. These patients were randomized to undergo combined therapy or propranolol monotherapy. The actuarial probabilities of bleeding from esophageal varices and bleeding-related death were calculated by Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test.


Variceal eradication was achieved in 33 patients (91.6%) in 2.5 +/- 1.4 ligation sessions. The mean daily dose of propranolol was 72 +/- 25mg in the propranolol group and 68 +/- 21 mg in the ligation group. Six percent of patients in the ligation group and 31% in the propranolol group had one episode of bleeding during the 18 months of follow-up (p = 0.03). The actuarial probabilities of bleeding-free survival after 18 months of follow-up, in the ligation and monotherapy groups were 96% and, respectively, 69% (p = 0.04).


Endoscopic band ligation associated with propranolol significantly reduces the occurrence of the first episode of variceal bleeding and improves bleeding-related survival in cirrhotics included on the waiting list.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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