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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1994 Oct;88(5):493-500.

Propranolol reduces mortality in patients with portal hypertension secondary to schistosomiasis.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.


Although beta-adrenoceptor antagonists improve morbidity and mortality in patients with portal hypertension associated with cirrhosis, this has not been demonstrated in non-cirrhotic patients. In the present, double-blind, 24-month, prospective study of patients with endoscopically-proven varices and ultrasonographically-confirmed hepatic fibrosis, the effects of propranolol 160 mg LA and placebo on the incidence of rebleeding and mortality were compared in 82 patients with portal hypertension secondary to schistosomiasis. The results, analysed on intention-to-treat basis, indicated a reduction in rebleeding (median time to rebleeding 589 days for propanol v. 252 days for placebo; P < 0.02) and increased survival in the propranolol-treated patients (three deaths v. seven deaths on placebo; P < 0.02). Fifteen patients withdrew from the propranolol group and 18 from the placebo group. A positive prognostic indicator was a large portal vein diameter whereas a small liver size indicated a negative outcome.

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